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Child trafficking and what to do about it?


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Kids as Commodities? …

Kids as Commodities?

Child trafficking and what to do about it?

Copyright © International Federation Terre des Hommes, Terre des Hommes Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland and Terre des Hommes Germany, May 2004 ISBN number: 2-9700457-0-2
This study has been produced with the financial assistance of the Oak Foundation, the Terre des Hommes Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland ( and Terre des Hommes Germany ( The views expressed are those of Terre des Hommes.
Terre des Hommes was created in 1960 to provide direct help to underprivileged children who were not being helped by existing relief agencies. Today it consists of a network of organisations based in eight different countries, the International Federation Terre des Hommes (IFTDH), which has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), UNICEF, ILO and the Council of Europe. The network works in partnership with Terre des Hommes organisations in Spain and the Netherlands. Members of the IFTDH support 840 development and humanitarian aid projects in 71 countries.
The countries where members of the IFTDH have their headquarters are: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland (where there are two organisations, Terre des Hommes Switzerland and the Terre des Hommes Foundation in Lausanne) and Syria. The author of this study is Mike Dottridge, an independent human rights consultant. From 1996 until 2002 he was director of a London-based non-governmental organisation, Anti-Slavery International, where much of his work focused on cases of human trafficking, of both adults and children. In 2002 he was part of a panel of UN experts which helped draft human rights guidelines concerning victims of trafficking. He lives and works in the United Kingdom.

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  • 1. Kids as Commodities? Child trafficking and what to do about it Kids as Commodities? 1 Terre des Hommes
  • 2. ‘Kids as Commodities? Child Trafficking and Terre des Hommes in Germany and Peter Brey, Ignacio What to do about it’ Packer and Pierre Philippe of the Terre des Hommes Foun- dation in Switzerland. More broadly, this study has at- tempted to build on analytical frameworks developed by Copyright © International Federation Terre des Hommes, others in four continents. I am particularly grateful to Ann Terre des Hommes Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland and Jordan and Matt Friedman for advice given to me over the Terre des Hommes Germany, May 2004 years, and to my friends in West Africa, Cléophas Mally, Elkane Mooh, Norbert Fanou Ako and Salia Kante, and ISBN number: 2-9700457-0-2 to a long line of researchers who have shown that well intentioned interventions do not always have the impact This study has been produced with the financial assistance which is expected. Thanks are also due to a large number of the Oak Foundation, the Terre des Hommes Founda- of others who provided information so willingly in the tion in Lausanne, Switzerland ( and Terre des hope of seeing methods to protect children improve. Hommes Germany ( The views expressed are Thanks also to Christiane Bruttin, of Terre des Hommes those of Terre des Hommes. Switzerland, for her contribution on lay-out and printing. Terre des Hommes was created in 1960 to provide direct The names attributed to individual children in this study help to underprivileged children who were not (in case studies or photographs) are not their real names. being helped by existing relief agencies. Today it consists Fictional names have been used to protect the children of a network of organisations based in eight different concerned. countries, the International Federation Terre des Hommes (IFTDH), which has consultative status with the United Photograph credits Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Photographs on page 12, page 41, page 62 UNICEF, ILO and the Council of Europe. The network and page 65 : © Terre des Hommes Germany works in partnership with Terre des Hommes organisations Photograph on page 23 : © Veit Mette in Spain and the Netherlands. Members of the Photograph on page 27 : © CDP/Anti-Slavery IFTDH support 840 development and humanitarian aid International projects in 71 countries. Photograph on page 35 : © Erick Christian Ahounou Photograph on page 47 (and cover page) and The countries where members of the IFTDH have their on page 71 : © Andrea Motta headquarters are: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Photograph on page 69 : Mike Dottridge Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland (where there are two ©Anti-Slavery International organisations, Terre des Hommes Switzerland and the Terre Photograph on page 78 : © Jörg Böthling des Hommes Foundation in Lausanne) and Syria. The author of this study is Mike Dottridge, an independ- For more information on Terre des Hommes’ International ent human rights consultant. From 1996 until 2002 he was Campaign Against Child Trafficking, consult the cam- director of a London-based non-governmental organisa- paign’s web-site : tion, Anti-Slavery International, where much of his work focused on cases of human trafficking, of both adults and children. In 2002 he was part of a panel of UN experts which helped draft human rights guidelines concerning Designed by Martine Cavalar victims of trafficking. He lives and works in the United Cover page by Barbara Monteleone Kingdom. Author’s acknowledgements This study would not have been possible without the sup- port and comments from a large number of people, es- pecially Eylah Kadjar-Hamouda, without whose constant support and advice the study would not have seen the light of day. She provided comments, edited the text and coped marvellously with all the challenges of finalising the text. Many of her colleagues in Terre des Hommes around the world have provided comments, particularly Raffaele K. Salinari, President of the International Federation Terre des Hommes, Vincent Tournecuillert of the Terre des Hommes Foundation in Albania, Boris Scharlowski of Kids as Commodities? 2 Terre des Hommes
  • 3. Kids as Commodities? Child trafficking and what to do about it by Mike Dottridge Foreword by Graça Machel Kids as Commodities? 3 Terre des Hommes
  • 4. CONTENTS Foreword by Graça Machel 12 Chapter 1 Introduction 14 Chapter 2 What is ‘child trafficking’? 16 Trafficking in the context of migration 16 Is child trafficking something new? 18 Migrants, prostitution, and trafficking 18 The difference between the trafficking of children and trafficking of adult women 19 Different ways of trafficking children 19 Patterns of cross-border trafficking around the world 20 How many children are trafficked each year? 21 Chapter 3 How trafficked children are exploited 23 Commercial sexual exploitation 23 Marriage 25 Adoption 25 Slavery and bonded labour 26 Child domestic servants 26 Child beggars 27 Children in illicit activities 27 Hazardous child labour 27 Organ extraction and trafficking 27 Chapter 4 Why children are available for traffickers 28 Poverty, globalisation and restrictions on migration 28 Lack of education 29 Other social factors 29 Discrimination 29 Cultural norms 29 Domestic violence 30 Crises: natural and man-made 30 Ambition and hope 30 Chapter 5 Who helps trafficking to occur? 32 Organised crime or small-scale criminals? 32 Others who facilitate trafficking 33 Transport workers 33 Professionals 33 Officials who help traffickers 33 Chapter 6 The harm caused to children from trafficking 34 Coercion to make children obey orders 34 The effects of exploitation 35 The specific effects of commercial sexual exploitation 35 Chapter 7 Responses to child trafficking and respecting child rights 38 Implication of trafficking as a gender issue 39 Kids as Commodities? 4 Terre des Hommes
  • 5. Chapter 8 Standards at the international level for responding to child trafficking 41 The definition of trafficking in international law 41 What the trafficking protocol requires governments to do 42 Forms of exploitation linked to child trafficking 43 Commercial adoption –involving ‘improper gain’ 43 Organ trafficking 43 Regional conventions on child trafficking 43 International guidelines on how trafficked children should be treated 44 UN High Commissioner for Refugees guidelines 44 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ recommendations and guidelines on human trafficking 44 Unicef’s guidelines for protection of the rights of children victims of trafficking 45 Chapter 9 Actors involved in stopping child trafficking and assisting children 47 NGOs and civil society 47 Law enforcement agencies 48 Other statutory bodies 48 Inter-governmental organisations 49 Keeping the UN informed about child trafficking 49 Ensuring that different organisations work together 50 Transnational NGO networks 50 NGOs working together in their own country 50 Law enforcement working with NGOs 51 Cooperation with the authorities in criminal investigations 51 NGOs working with inter-governmental organisations and other governments 51 Chapter 10 Laws and action on child trafficking at national level 53 Enacting law 53 Getting the wording of the law right 53 Using prosecutions to provide compensation to trafficked children 54 Laws that are too harsh 54 Extraterritorial jurisdiction 54 Implementing the law 54 Agreeing other minimum standards at national level 55 Avoiding causing harm to children 55 Chapter 11 Finding out the facts 57 Techniques for collecting information 57 Consulting children 58 Indirect indications that child trafficking may be occurring 59 Collecting information systematically 59 Common difficulties 59 The risks of estimates and statistics 59 The dangers of exaggeration and speculation 61 Being aware of different patterns of child trafficking 61 Challenging preconceptions 61 Kids as Commodities? 5 Terre des Hommes
  • 6. Chapter 12 Campaigning against child trafficking 62 Choosing the aims of a campaign 62 Measuring success 62 Campaigning techniques 62 Pressure on a government abroad 63 United Arab Emirates 63 Terre des Hommes’ International Campaign against Child Trafficking 63 Fine-tuning the campaign message for Germany 64 Fine-tuning the campaign message for Mozambique 65 Chapter 13 Publicity as a technique to combat child trafficking 66 Achieving a break-through with publicity 66 Shaming governments into taking action against trafficking 66 Predicting the effects of publicity 66 Fictional representations of child trafficking in films 67 Chapter 14 Preventing children from being trafficked 69 Near to home – preventing trafficking where children are recruited 69 Birth registration 69 Education 69 Increasing household income 70 Information campaigns to increase awareness of the risk of trafficking 70 Information for specific audiences 71 Social work 72 Difficulties to overcome 72 Away from home – prevention in places where children are exploited 72 Help-lines 72 Educating employers 72 Educating ‘consumers’ (tackling ‘demand’) 73 Influencing men who buy sex 74 Chapter 15 Identifying and rescuing children who have been trafficked 75 Recognising children who have been trafficked 75 Unaccompanied minors 76 Interception while children are in transit 76 Intervening on behalf of children being exploited 76 ‘Rescues’ 77 Chapter 16 Protecting trafficked children and enabling them to recover 78 Protecting children who have been rescued 79 Shelters, transit centres and residential care 79 Protection from traffickers and other threats outside 79 Protective custody 79 Protection from abuse while in a transit home 80 Recovering from physical and psychological harm 80 Treatment of children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation 81 Education and training 81 Chapter 17 Making a new start 83 Returning home 83 Government policies on repatriation 83 NGO approaches to repatriation 83 Family reunification 84 Issues concerning family reunification for children trafficked when very young 84 Preparing the family and home community 84 Protecting children who are at risk of being trafficked again 84 Alternatives to family reunification 85 Kids as Commodities? 6 Terre des Hommes
  • 7. Chapter 18 Conclusions and recommendations 86 To the international community 86 To governments 87 To donors financing counter-trafficking work 87 To NGO’s 87 Endnotes 89 References 95 The treaties and guidelines mentioned here can all be downloaded, in English, French and Spanish, as well as some other languages, from the websites of the international organisations concerned. for the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. for the World Health Organization’s Ethical and Safety Recommendations for Interviewing Trafficked Women. for UNICEF’s Principles for ethical reporting on children. for UNICEF’s Guidelines for Protection of the Rights of Children Victims of Trafficking. for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Recommended Pinciples and Guidelines. Kids as Commodities? 7 Terre des Hommes
  • 8. Acronyms and initials used in the text ARSIS Association for the Social Support of Youth (NGO in Greece) ECPAT End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (previously End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism) EU European Union ICACT (Terre des Hommes) International Campaign Against Child Trafficking IFTDH International Federation Terre des Hommes ILO International Labour Organization ILO-IPEC See IPEC IOM International Organization for Migration IPEC International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (part of ILO and referred to as ILO-IPEC) NGO Non-governmental organisation OAS Organization of American States OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe TDH Terre des Hommes TICSA Trafficking in Children – South Asia (part of ILO-IPEC) UAM Unaccompanied minor UN United Nations UNESCO UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNIAP UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UNODC UN Office on Drugs and Crime (the secretariat for the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Trafficking Protocol), which runs a Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings US United States of America WHO World Health Organization Kids as Commodities? 8 Terre des Hommes
  • 9. Executive Summary difficult to notice or to prohibit. Girls are the chief victims of trafficking associated with the first three forms of exploitation, both sexual exploitation and work as This study of child trafficking describes a pattern of domestics; however, boys are also trafficked and both human rights violations affecting at least one million boys and girls are subjected to most forms of exploitation. children today - probably many more. It concerns the business of taking children away from their homes and Of course, not all children who migrate to work away families, transporting them elsewhere, often across from home are victims of traffickers. It is important for frontiers and even to other continents, to be put to use child rights activists to distinguish between children who by others, usually to make money. This is a heart-rending are migrating in search of a better future, and deserve sup- pattern of abuse, but the study explains in as port in their efforts, and children who are being moved by unsentimental way as possible what can be done to stop others so that they can be subjected to exploitation and child trafficking and to protect children who are abuse later on. In reality, it is often hard to tell the trafficked. As the efforts of government agencies and difference and, by not making any distinction, counter- inter-governmental organisations have been described in trafficking measures have sometimes harmed migrant other reports, this study focuses on what children. non-governmental organisations can do, with the intention of showing them what techniques there is Because of the diversity involved in child trafficking agreement on and what needs further discussion. – both boys and girls are trafficked; children of all ages are involved, some young and some almost adult; and traf- Until a few years ago, the term ‘trafficking’ was inter- ficked children are exploited in different ways – the preted to refer to children and adults subjected to com- opportunities for intervening to protect children vary as mercial sexual exploitation in prostitution. However, a well. In order to prevent children from being trafficked new definition of human trafficking was adopted by the in the first place, it is necessary to understand the motives United Nations (UN) in 2000 in a Protocol to Prevent, that children have for leaving home, or that their families Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially have for allowing them to leave. The right preventive Women and Children. This makes it clear that human strategy must be adapted to match the particular motives beings are trafficked for many different purposes, all of that people have. Similarly, efforts to remove children them defined as ‘exploitation’. The Protocol makes a from the control of traffickers must be tailored to the distinction between ‘trafficking’ and ‘people smuggling’, specific circumstances that children find themselves in. which involves taking people across borders illegally, but without the same intention of exploiting them afterwards. While trafficking children is always a crime, the specific The Protocol concentrates on people who are trafficked forms of harm inflicted on children as a result vary, both across frontiers, but children and adults are also trafficked in the short- and the long-term. This too needs to be within their own countries. Most statistics about traffick- taken into account in assessing what sorts of support ing refer exclusively to cross-border trafficking and are children need when they are removed from the hands of very imprecise. In 2003 the International Labour their traffickers or exploiters. It is mainly girls who are Organization estimated that 1.2 million children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and exposed trafficked each year. to sexual violence, sexually transmitted infections and related forms of harm. These have a profound effect on Trafficking in children is directly associated with their the children concerned, which require forms of treatment subsequent exploitation by other people in a way that that are correspondingly different to those needed by violates their human rights – usually by being forced to children who have been programmed like robots to work make money for them by working, but in the case of long hours as domestic drudges or workers in sweatshops babies who are trafficked for adoption and young women or in the fields. trafficked for marriage, to satisfy the demands of those who take control of them in other ways. The eight forms As well as adopting treaties and conventions designed to of exploitation described in some detail are: commercial stop trafficking, the principal UN agencies concerned with sexual exploitation (for prostitution or pornography), human rights and with children have recently adopted marriage, work as domestic servants, adoption, bonded guidelines concerning children who are trafficked. These labour, begging, other illicit activities (such as burglaries) are addressed chiefly at government agencies which are and work that is so hazardous that it endangers the health responsible for assisting and protecting trafficked children or life of the child concerned. All are characterised by and for deciding what should happen to them subsequent- constraints imposed on the movement of the children ly. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights involved, who are virtually held captive. However, the issued a set of Recommended Principles and Guidelines on degree of force or intimidation which is needed to control Human Rights and Human Trafficking in 2002 and UNICEF a young child is very different to the coercion used on issued a set of Guidelines for Protection of the Rights of Children older children (or adults), and is consequently more Victims of Trafficking in 2003 which were designed Kids as Commodities? 9 Terre des Hommes
  • 10. especially for Southeast Europe. Both emphasise that ineffective and that it often has negative side-effects for government agencies and other institutions involved in the children involved. The adoption of the UN Traffick- making decisions about trafficked children must make the ing Protocol in 2000 is leading many countries to amend best interests of the child concerned a primary their law on human trafficking, but so far few of these consideration in any decisions they take. take the specific characteristics of child trafficking into account, notably the different nature of coercion that UNICEF’s Guidelines cover 11 separate issues: the traffickers exert over children to move them or make process for identifying children who have been trafficked; them do as they are told, by comparison with the forms appointing a guardian for each trafficked child; their of coercion used to control trafficked adults. questioning by the authorities; referral to appropriate services and inter-agency coordination; interim care and Equally negative for trafficked children has been the protection; regularisation of a child’s status in a country practice, reported in countries in every continent, of other than their own (so that the child has a legal right to police detaining children who have been trafficked and be in the country); case assessment and identification of summarily deporting them to their country of origin, what is called a ‘durable solution’; implementing a durable often without referring them to either the courts or other solution, including possible return to a child’s country of legal authorities and repatriating them without paying any origin and own family; access to justice; protection of the attention to their obligation to take the children’s best child as a victim and potential witness in prosec- interests into account when making decisions about them. utions of traffickers; and training for both government Government agencies should be urged to refrain from and other agencies dealing with child victims of traf- summarily deporting any child who might have been traf- ficking. Although these Guidelines were developed in the ficked, just as they should refrain from treating children as specific context of Southeast Europe, all the guidelines are criminals on account of offences they have committed as applicable to every child victim of trafficking anywhere a result of being trafficked (whether this involves an of- in the world. However, in reality today hardly any of the fence committed under pressure, such as a theft, begging guidelines are observed anywhere. They consequently or prostitution, or an immigration offence). Governments provide non-governmental organisations and others in- should also be urged to avoid over-general responses to volved in efforts to stop child trafficking with an agenda trafficking, which have the effect of further violating for action for the next few years. children’s rights, such as blanket bans on children travelling to certain countries. In addition to UNICEF, numerous other inter- governmental agencies are involved in counter-trafficking A wide range of initiatives on child trafficking have been initiatives. Most belong to the UN system. However, with taken by non-governmental organisations. These include: the exception of Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe, there is rarely any formal coordination of their counter- • research and investigations to find out if children are trafficking activities, resulting sometimes in confusion or being trafficked, or to identify precisely which children are duplication. In order to ensure more effective coordin- most at risk; ation, non-governmental organisations and others should press for the appointment of a UN high level mechanism • campaigns and publicity to make the public and govern- on human trafficking with special responsibility to ensure ment policy-makers aware of the nature and scale of child that inter-governmental agencies work together effectively trafficking – often in the face of government disbelief; and with a mandate to find out what factors are imped- ing progress in counter-trafficking initiatives concerning either children or adults, and to recommend the changes • efforts to prevent child trafficking from occurring and necessary. At present the UN Commission on Human to protect individual children who are at risk of being traf- Rights has a Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, ficked; Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, who is mandated to receive information and suggest what • intercepting trafficked children while they are in transit, individual governments and others should do to stop child or identifying them after they have arrived at their destin- trafficking. However the Special Rapporteur does not ation and are being exploited and arranging for police or coordinate initiatives taken by UN agencies. other intervention to release the children concerned; Although the efforts of governments to prevent traffick- • providing residential care and protection to children ing and punish traffickers are not the main focus of this who have escaped from their traffickers or who have been study, it is important for NGOs to take into account that rescued, including medical attention, psychosocial most governments regard prosecuting traffickers and counselling and other treatment to help them recover deterring others by imposing heavy sentences as the main from trauma; plank of their counter-trafficking policy. NGOs need to be aware that so far this approach seems to be singularly • supporting trafficked children in the next phase of their Kids as Commodities? 10 Terre des Hommes
  • 11. lives, deciding whether they should return home or even who buy hand-knotted carpets made by trafficked to their country of origin or community where they lived children, but not enough has been done yet to dissuade before being trafficked, and acquiring the basic skills they adult men and boys not to pay for sex with teenage girls. need to look after themselves and to earn their living in the future. Once children have been trafficked, NGOs have a role to play in identifying children being exploited, but a great In all these initiatives, the best interests of the children deal still needs to be learnt about the best ways of doing involved should be the key factor in any decision about this. One obvious priority is to insist that governments what is going to happen to them. This means avoiding enforce their existing laws against all the forms of inflicting any further harm on trafficked children, even if exploitation associated with trafficking (generally referred it is not intentional. There have been plenty of initiatives to as ‘the worst forms of child labour’), which many are which have been well intentioned, but had bad results for failing to do. children who have been trafficked. In the case of research and publicity, it means giving serious consideration to NGOs play a leading role in looking after child victims the children’s security, avoiding jeopardising their safety of trafficking once they have escaped or been rescued. A and ensuring that journalists who want to report on the great deal has already been learnt about the most issue of child trafficking are well enough briefed to avoid appropriate and effective techniques to use, based on the revealing a trafficked child’s identity. Recent World Health premise that young people should not be kept in Organization Guiding Principles for the ethical and safe conduct of residential care for any longer than is absolutely necessary. interviews with women who have been trafficked are helpful as far This sometimes involves difficult decisions: for example, as children are concerned (as well as adult women), as are whether children should be confined to a residential home UNICEF’s Principles for ethical reporting on children. in order to protect them from those outside who trafficked or exploited them. While the conventional idea NGOs frequently carry out investigations to establish that they should be helped to return to their country and whether children are being trafficked and need community of origin is sometimes appropriate, in many protection. It would often be more appropriate to cases this is not in their best interests and NGOs should investigate the situation of a wider group of children, look for alternative futures for the children concerned. those migrating away from home, than to focus only on Either way, it is important to follow up and to ensure that children being trafficked, in order to get a wider under- children who return home are not ‘re-trafficked’ once standing of the context in which child trafficking occurs. again. NGOs have initiated a wide range of campaigning activities about child trafficking, sometimes with the general intention of informing the public that trafficking is occurring, and encouraging everyone to look for solutions, and sometimes with much more specific objectives, in order to persuade politicians to amend a law or to end the mistreatment of trafficked children. Different techniques have been successful and the priority is now to ensure that the impact of campaigns, along with other initiatives, is evaluated and measured as carefully as possible. Terre des Hommes started an international campaign against child trafficking in 2001, which is scheduled to continue until 2005. The most effective campaigns to prevent children from being trafficked are based on a thorough understanding of the factors which children and their parents (or others) take into account when considering whether (and when) to leave home. ‘Top down’ prevention campaigns, which simply impose a message that ‘migration is dangerous because of the risk of falling into the hands of traffickers’, seem much less likely to be effective. ‘Prevention’ also includes influencing people who create a demand for the services or products of trafficked children. Efforts have already been made to influence adults who employ child servants and consumers in wealthy countries Kids as Commodities? 11 Terre des Hommes
  • 12. Foreword by Graça Machel Dear Reader A s you are probably already aware, from Cape Town to London, from London to Hong Kong via Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Moscow and so on, from and to every conceivable place around the planet, thousands of will ever see their parents, friends and school colleagues again. people are crossing borders by land, sea or air, for a wide range of personal Some of us have probably also won- reasons. Without even paying special attention, we spot boys and girls dered who is behind the children we among the crowds, either travelling by themselves, or accompanied by see stretching their hands out to beg someone or in a group. Some of us have probably already wondered, as from grown-ups or running after adults and parents ourselves, whether these young passengers know where them, calling out at people to buy they are going, who and what is waiting for them on their arrival and if they something they are selling on the streets of Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Lagos, Lusaka, Maputo or somewhere else. Can any of the adults who brush by these children even imagine that, in every corner of the world, there are other children who cannot even be seen because they are not allowed to talk to others or to be treated as children, or even to walk out of the places they are kept, regardless of their screams and tears? Alas, throughout human history’s most tragic moments - during times of war, the slave trade and natural disasters - children have always been the ones to come off worst. Due to their small size and their poorly developed capacity to exercise good judgement and to distinguish between right and wrong, they are inevitably more vulnerable than adults. Even so, there are still people who think that trafficking in children only occurs when organised crime is in- volved or when children are transport- ed on a large-scale from one country or continent to another. But it is not always like this. When we look at the relationships between adults and children, there are many practices which, seen through the lens of recent standards and definitions adopted by the United Nations, amount to traf- ficking in persons and constitute a crime. To help you come to terms with this Graça Machel and her husband, Nelson Mandela reality, we are providing you with Kids as Commodities? 12 Terre des Hommes
  • 13. this reference book describing the range of experiences organisations which can develop human capital to its of various organisations such as Terre des Hommes and its fullest potential and reduce poverty, rebuilding the social partners involved in the International Campaign Against fabric of values and ethics, with the aim of having one Child Trafficking (ICaCT). Launched in 2001 in Germany, specific beneficiary: children. Because children are flowers this initiative has created a network extending to Europe, that should never be allowed to wither. Africa, Asia and South America, which remains on high alert when it comes to protecting children’s rights. Graça Machel This report not only illustrates the vulnerability of children to human trafficking, but also explains the Patron of the Southern Africa Campaign Against Child Abuse and complexity of this phenomenon, which has no limits in Child Trafficking terms of when or where it occurs. Compared to classic slavery, this phenomenon has re-emerged today as a new form of slavery. It has developed new dimensions, become more sophisticated, taken on new shapes and reached new heights. At the same time, its aim is still the same: to make a few people rich by violating the most basic rights of others, in this particular case, of children. This degrading activity is currently considered to be one of the most lucrative illegal ways of making money in the world, alongside trafficking in drugs, weapons and women. Other factors highlighted in this study as contributing to child trafficking include: globalisation; political and economic instability and people’s increased mobility; increased access to information and communication technology (Internet); as well as natural disasters that leave millions of orphans dependent on others. As well as presenting the complexity of this problem on a grand scale and in a methodical way, this report on child trafficking presents various possible solutions, each of which is examined in such detail that it opens up the way ahead and presents a multidimensional set of remedies and ways of addressing the problem. ‘What is child trafficking’; ‘How trafficked children are exploited’; ‘What makes children vulnerable to trafficking’; and ‘What harm does trafficking cause children’ – these are just some of the questions that are dealt with, taking into account the particular characteristics of each part of the world, which in turn has been made possible by the existence of transnational networks such as the ICaCT. The report also praises the role of national and interna- tional non-governmental organisations (NGOs), governments and inter-governmental organisations in developing and sharing information, investigative techniques and methods for responding to child trafficking. All these allow lobbying to be more effective, laws to be amended and international instruments to be ratified by countries which have not already done so. In this way, we can develop new initiatives in each of our own countries which involve, in addition to the institutions already mentioned, the churches and other Kids as Commodities? 13 Terre des Hommes
  • 14. Chapter 1 Introduction This study is about crimes committed against children and impressive. At the start, it is frequently NGOs that a pattern of serious violations of human rights affecting at publish revelations showing that children are being traf- least one million children today - probably many more. It ficked. While no-one else is addressing the issue, the same describes the business of taking children away from their NGOs follow up by taking action to make children and homes and families, transporting them elsewhere, often their families aware of the dangers of trafficking, or to across frontiers and even to other continents, to be put to provide direct assistance to abused children. Once others use by others, usually to make money. are aware of the problem and commit resources to deal- ing with it, NGOs continue with more focused activities, The crimes and abuse involved are nothing new, but there such as investigations to find out which children are most are signs that the problem has been growing worse. It at risk, or setting up transit centres for children who are is only in the last few years that the term ‘trafficking in recovering from their experience, waiting to rejoin their children’ has been applied to cases involving all sorts of families or receiving training to enable them to get on exploitation, rather than just to cases involving sexual with their lives exploitation. The children involved vary from new-born babies to grown-up 17-year-olds. Adults aged 18 or older Just as the crime and abuse involved in child trafficking are victims of trafficking too, but their predicament is not are not new, so the involvement of NGOs in counter- the subject of this study. trafficking activities has also been going on for a long time, although often without the NGOs involved using The first part of the study (Chapters 2 to 6) explains what the term ‘trafficking’. For more than a century there have child trafficking involves and why it occurs. The second been campaigns to stop teenage girls being recruited into part (Chapters 7 to 18) focuses on what can be done about prostitution. The issue took on a new lease of life in the this horrifying pattern of abuse, both to stop it and to late 1980s when large numbers of male tourists were seen protect the children who are its victims. Governments paying for commercial sex with young girls in Thailand have a responsibility to put an end to trafficking. They do and other Southeast Asian countries; a widely supported this mainly by mobilising their police to detect and arrest campaign, End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism traffickers and also by asking the international organ- (ECPAT), eventually transformed itself into an NGO isations they have helped set up, such as the United focusing on all young people subjected to commercial Nations (UN), to take action on the issue. Efforts by sexual exploitation. It was also in the 1980s and 1990s that government agencies at national level and those of inter- the economic exploitation of children began to provoke governmental organisations have been examined in many attention elsewhere, in South Asia, Latin America and other reports.1 Consequently most of the second part of West Africa. the study focuses on what voluntary organisations, also known as not-for-profit and non-governmental organ- ‘Child trafficking’ encompasses a range of practices that isations (NGOs), have done to prevent children from have already been condemned under other labels. The being trafficked and to assist children who have been traf- reason for considering the various forms of abuse in one ficked study is that the children involved are often the same, just as the strategies needed in response are similar. At the NGOs have proceeded by a process of trial and error, try- same time, the point is made in several chapters that dif- ing out different techniques, seeing what works and what ferent patterns of child trafficking require different does not. A few well-intentioned interventions turn out responses: there is no single ‘magic bullet’ or standard to be counter-productive for the very children intended response for all the different cases. In particular, traf- to benefit. The chapters in the second part of the study ficking provokes specific problems for children who are attempt to distinguish between good and bad practice, and moved from one country to another (‘cross-border traf- are intended to help NGOs and those who support them ficking’), rather than within their own countries, and for in deciding what they should and should not be doing children who are subjected to sexual exploitation, who to halt trafficking. These chapters are expected to be of are harmed in specific ways that require equally specific interest to NGOs, whether they are organised at inter- remedies. national, national or local level, and also to all those who fund or support them. They are also intended to be useful The issue of human trafficking (of adults as well as to government officials responsible for making policy on children) has received far more attention in the past five human trafficking and to law enforcement agencies in- years than at any time in the previous half century. volved in counter-trafficking operations. Government aid agencies in industrialised countries have been making more funds available than before to The range of activities undertaken by NGOs is support the counter-trafficking activities of both NGO Kids as Commodities? 14 Terre des Hommes
  • 15. and inter-governmental organisations. A strong pressure for action has come from one country, the United States of America (US), since the enactment of a new law in the US on human trafficking at the end of 2000.2 In addition to redefining trafficking in US domestic law, this has an international dimension, requiring the US State Depart- ment to publish an annual report about human trafficking in other countries and allocating specific funds to finance counter-trafficking projects both in the US and elsewhere, which many NGOs working against child trafficking have benefited from.3 An international NGO, Terre des Hommes,4 has been running projects for many years to provide protection to children who have been trafficked, alongside other projects to assist child victims of abuse. In 2001, Terre des Hommes launched a campaign specifically against child trafficking and intensified its activities around the world to prevent children from being trafficked. Terre des Hommes is a network of nine national organisations.5 It was created in 1960 to provide direct help to underprivileged children who were not being helped by existing relief agencies and continues today to design and implement projects provid- ing support to children. Terre des Hommes uses the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a conceptual framework to guide its activities. Terre des Hommes works in countries all over the world where children are in danger or being subjected to serious abuse. Its campaign against child trafficking has involved alerting public opinion to the issue and developing practical responses to prevent child trafficking, to protect children who are particularly at risk of being trafficked and to assist children who have already been trafficked. Many of the examples cited in this study come from Terre des Hommes’ experience, while others are drawn from the experiences of other organisations engaged in similar work. In particular, information about children trafficked on a ship called the Etireno in West Africa in April 2001 is drawn from Terre des Hommes as well as public sources. The aim of the study is to draw conclusions that are rel- evant for everyone. Kids as Commodities? 15 Terre des Hommes
  • 16. Chapter 2 What is ‘child trafficking’? T rafficking involves to an illicit trade, usually taking goods across a frontier. Traditionally, it referred to illegal transfers of weapons (gun running) and more friends, across a social frontier, making it easier to exploit them and difficult for them to escape. recently to drug smuggling. Since 1990 there have also Trafficking children or adults is a violation of human been an increasing number of references to ‘trafficking rights and a crime. However, trafficking is the down side in people’, ‘human trafficking’ and ‘trafficking in women of something much larger – migration, which involves and children’, as well as specific references to ‘child traf- people moving from one place to another and one ficking’. country to another in search of a better life. The phrase ‘child trafficking’ itself puts the emphasis on Trafficking in the context of migration the way children are moved. But trafficking children or adults is inextricably associated with their subsequent There is nothing new about people moving within their exploitation by others in a way that violates their human country or between countries or continents. Some do it rights –usually by being forced to make money for them on a temporary basis, others permanently. People by working, but in the case of babies who are trafficked emigrate when the economy at home is in crisis or as a for adoption and young women trafficked for marriage, result of rapid population growth, or simply because to satisfy the demands of those who take control of attractive opportunities exist elsewhere. them in other ways. To understand what is involved it is necessary to look at the forms of exploitation In addition to obstacles placed in their way by govern- experienced by children. Children are used in different ments, there are a host of human sharks ready to take ways according to their age and gender. Older children, advantage of migrants. The challenge for individuals who aged 15 to 17, are exploited in much the same ways as migrate is to ensure that they benefit from the move, as young adults and the degrees of coercion required to well as making money for the people they work for or keep them under control are similar. The most those who lend them money to finance their trip. notorious ways in which adults make use of trafficked children involve girls (and some boys) having to have sex Children are no exception to the rule that people are on with adults, and children working in captivity, generally the move and there is no reason why they should not in small workshops in the secrecy of people’s homes, leave home and migrate, either with relatives or alone, but sometimes in public, begging on the streets. once they are old enough to make informed decisions about their future. Some children are dispatched by their In the case of adults, the trafficking process itself in- families. Some chose to leave home themselves. Many volves coercion or deception. However, it is generally children leave as a result of crises, war and natural dis- easier to make children do what they are told than adults, asters. Only a minority are ‘stolen’ (kidnapped) or sold. particularly younger children. Consequently the degree Noting the significance of this difference, some counter- of coercion required to make children accompany a traf- trafficking specialists distinguish between ‘hard’ traffick- ficker or to do what they are told later on is significantly ing, involving abductions or fraudulent deception, and less than the coercion required to control adults. Taking ‘soft’ trafficking, in which a child leaves home deliberately control of other people’s children and making money as a result of a decision made by the child or his or her out of them is what trafficking is about. However, dif- parents. The distinction is important when it comes to ficulties experienced in defining the nature of the control deciding how to address the different situations. exerted over children by people other than their own parents have led to serious short-comings in the There is little agreement on what age children should definitions of the offence of child trafficking in both reach before leaving home to work elsewhere. A few think international and national laws.6 they should be at least 18. Some argue that it is reason- able for children to leave home to work once they reach The recent focus on trafficking has put the limelight on the minimum age for legal employment in their country.7 children being taken across international frontiers. This Many child rights advocates use a less mechanical yard- reflects the preoccupation that governments have with stick and argue that children should be allowed to migrate immigration control. From the point of view of children if their basic rights will be respected subsequently: their who leave home and are subjected to exploitation, how- rights to keep their identity, to basic freedoms and to ever, it is not the crossing of an international frontier personal development,8 to receive an education and to that is critical; the key point is that children are moved integrate into wider society, and to survive and get medi- away from the relative protection of their family and cal attention when necessary. However, migrants of Kids as Commodities? 16 Terre des Hommes
  • 17. all ages are at risk of being abused and migrant children A CASE STUDY – THE ETIRENO are especially vulnerable. In reality, it seems unlikely that (2001) children dispatched to work away from home before the Over Easter weekend in April 2001 a story flashed around the world about a ‘slave age of 10 will have their basic ship’, the Etireno, off the coast of Nigeria in West Africa. Journalists reported that several hundred slave children were on board. The reality turned out to be different rights respected; it is conse- and was a classic case of trafficking in West Africa, where young children are routinely quently difficult to believe employed far from home as domestic servants and in other menial jobs, sometimes that they will be better off paid, and sometimes not. Hundreds are taken each year from countries in West Africa than at home, however poor such as Bénin* and Togo across the sea to Gabon, a richer oil-exporting country. They are usually taken across a land border to Nigeria and then on by canoe to the quality of life is there. Gabon, across 500 kilometres of open sea. In most cases, they work for other West Africans in Gabon’s capital, Libreville. Only some children who mi- When the ship, the Etireno, arrived back at its port of departure, Cotonou in Bénin, grate are trafficked. However, on 17 April 2001, 43 children disembarked: 23 were aged between five and 14, and millions of migrant children were taken to Terre des Hommes’ Oasis accommodation shelter in Cotonou, while end up being subjected to 17 older boys over the age of 14 were placed under the protection of another NGO, abusive forms of exploita- SOS Children’s Village; three babies remained with the women accompanying them. Western journalists reported that there were far fewer children than expected and that tion. Governments have a they did not look like slaves. responsibility to protect all unaccompanied Among the 40 children aged between five and 17, 16 were girls and 24 boys. The migrant children against children were cared for at the two transit homes and by October 2001 23 had been reunited with their families in their respective countries. Once safe, the children were abuse, but often fail to meet questioned about their experiences and a report was passed to the police about what their responsibilities, especial- had happened to each of them. The following facts came to light: ly when the children involved come from other countries. • All 16 girls, along with seven of the 24 boys, were under 15; Many • 17 of the 24 boys were older teenagers (aged 15 to 17); governments have adopted policies which have the effect • Nine children had been travelling with one of their parents, while 31 were of promoting or facilitating unaccompanied; trafficking. This is not the • 13 thought they had one or both parents already in Gabon; same thing as failing to take action against trafficking. • 13 of the 40 were from Bénin, eight from neighbouring Togo and 19 from Rather, it demonstrates that much further afield: 17 from Mali, one from Guinea and one from Senegal; trafficking occurs in part as • All but two of the 40 knew they were going to Gabon to work there; a by product of efforts by governments to manage their • Five were aware that a financial transaction had taken place before they left economies and societies. home; a further eight reported that they had been accompanied by an adult they did not know, who was taking them to work in Gabon; The efforts of the authorities • Four accompanied by an adult from their village in Bénin were expecting to in industrialised countries work for at least eight years in Gabon to pay off the costs of their trip; to prevent immigrants from • Two girls and two boys said they had paid between 100,000 and 250,000 entering their countries and CFA Francs (US$215 and US$535) each to make the trip from Togo. working legally mean that would-be migrants resort to The conclusion was that 35 out of the 40 children were being trafficked to Gabon illegal means to move from (18 of the 23 under 15-year-olds and all 17 older boys). By the time the facts were one country to another. Like- known, media interest had waned. In the same year, the Oasis shelter took in 304 wise, the unwillingness of the other children who had been trafficked within Bénin, without going abroad. Meanwhile, authorities in most countries hundreds of children continued to be imported into Gabon by the traditional route. Two years later, in September 2003, the shelters in Bénin were once again hard to regulate the sex industry at work: more than a hundred Béninois children, aged from seven to 16, were has had the effect of creat- found working in granite quarries near the Nigerian city of Abeokuta, and required ing a black market in which accommodation after the authorities brought them back to Bénin. slavery and trafficking thrive, involving teenagers as well as *The Republic of Benin, once known as Dahomey, is referred to throughout this book as ‘Bénin’, adults as victims. Removing to distinguish it from the city of Benin in neighbouring Nigeria (the capital of the pre-colonial Kingdom of Benin), which has also achieved some notoriety as a result of teenage girls and border restrictions or mak- young women being trafficked into prostitution in Italy and other European countries. ing the sex industry legal and subjecting it to workplace Kids as Commodities? 17 Terre des Hommes
  • 18. labour standards would not put a stop to trafficking, but philes.10 The ease with which the citizens of wealthy coun- would affect the situation in which traffickers currently tries can travel means that sex tourists fly to other conti- exploit loopholes in the law to make their profits. nents to buy sex. However, they account for a relatively small proportion of the men who look for child partners Is child trafficking something new? when paying for sex. Along with the long-standing male interest in some cultures with ‘deflowering a virgin’, Many migrants end up trapped in menial jobs which they since the 1980s fear of HIV/AIDS has resulted in men are not allowed to leave by their employer, in particular in different continents preferring to pay for commercial when they are forced by someone to work in order to sex with girls aged 15 or younger on the assumption that repay the costs of their migration. The mass migrations they are less likely to have caught HIV/AIDS than older out of Europe in the late 19th Century were marked by women. In some cultures there is even a mistaken belief men, women, and children being moved into a variety of that sex with a virgin will somehow cure HIV/AIDS. situations of servitude or bondage on other continents. These (rather than the Trans-Atlantic slave trade) provide Thirdly, computer technology and the Internet have revo- a precedent for the types of exploitation associated with lutionised access to information. This allows would-be migration today. holiday-makers to view potential resorts; it also helps sex tourists choose the destination they prefer for purchasing There were plenty of examples in the past of children sex with local people, including girls and boys. The from poor families being moved away from home for sim- Internet has precipitated a boom in pornography, ilar sorts of exploitation to today. As recently as the 1920s, including child pornography, and has encouraged a selling or loaning children was regarded as an acceptable phenomenon that was already, in pre-Internet days, survival technique for poor families in many countries, referred to as ‘mail order brides’. It has helped break from China - where boys and girls known as mui tsai were down the barriers between nations, but in so doing it has bought by rich families, nominally for adoption, but in facilitated exploitation and trafficking. practice to act as domestic servants9 - to Haïti - where the rural poor routinely sent their children off to the capital to Fourthly, demand for ever cheaper products on the global work as unpaid domestic servants for households slightly market fuels a downward spiral in wages, sucking in child better off than themselves (this continues today; the child workers not only because they are cheap, but also because servants are known as restaveks). In the 1920s there was they are obedient. Children trafficked away from home little agreement at international level about which of these often represent the cheapest and most malleable work cases constituted child slavery and should be stopped. At force available. that time girls from poorer families in Europe were still routinely dispatched into ‘service’ in richer households In addition to these new factors, the very meaning of the much younger that is acceptable in Europe today. term ‘child trafficking’ has recently been redefined by the United Nations, with the result that cases which were Urbanisation and industrialisation increase the demand known to be exploitative but not previously regarded for cheap labour. In the 19th Century, this resulted in a as trafficking are now being relabelled, fuelling concern demand for child labour in the cities of Europe and North that the number of children being trafficked is growing America. This is paralleled today by the high demand for exponentially. Whatever the rate of growth, the situation child labour in the manufacturing industries in India and around the world is extremely serious. It is aggravated other South Asian countries, particularly in the informal, by a completely inadequate level of response by law unregulated sector of the economy. enforcement agencies to the exploitation of children in their countries (both those who have been trafficked and Nevertheless, the patterns of child trafficking seen over others) and also the absence of any meaningful policing at the past two decades and the ways children are exploited international level. today differ from the past in important ways. Firstly, the world’s transport infrastructure has improved, with chil- Migrants, prostitution, and trafficking dren as well as adults being moved long distances easily by air. Adults pretending to be their parents take children At the beginning of the 20th Century, the concern of by air to the country where there is a demand for children; European governments about the recruitment of women for example, boys aged between five and nine are flown and girls into prostitution in foreign countries resulted in from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sudan to airports in a series of international treaties to end what was initially the Gulf, passed off as other people’s children, and then called the ‘White Slave Trade’ and later the ‘White Slave handed over to be trained as jockeys for camel races Traffic’. By the 1930s, treaties aimed at ending the recruit- ment of women and girls into prostitution used the word Secondly, various factors have increased the demand for ‘traffic’ in English, while in French, Spanish and other children for sexual exploitation, both as young prostitutes languages they referred to ‘trade’, resulting in a confusion and, even younger, for secret exploitation by paedo- over terminology that continues today. From the end of Kids as Commodities? 18 Terre des Hommes
  • 19. the 1940s until the 1980s, the term ‘trafficking’, whether many reminiscent of slavery but which are nevertheless applied to adults or children, generally referred to their condoned or accepted by the public. recruitment into prostitution, nowadays also referred to as ‘sex work’ and ‘commercial sexual exploitation’. They The difference between the trafficking of were considered to be victims of trafficking whether they children and trafficking of adult women were recruited into prostitution with their consent or against their will. Exploitation in the commercial At both national and international level, the trafficking sex business continues to be associated with many cases of girls and boys has been treated as if it was the same as of child trafficking, especially of teenage girls, but in the the trafficking of adult women, as if they all experienced course of the 1990s there came a creeping realisation that the same abuse and required the same sorts of protection. girls, boys, and adults of both sexes were all being moved This approach demeans adult women, implying that they in large numbers, between countries and within their own are just as dependent and vulnerable as children. It also countries, in order to be exploited in a range of ways, means that specific needs that children have are not being usually so that others could make money out of them. addressed. The vulnerability of children that traffickers and others exploit concerns their reduced capacity to A recent report published by the United Nations (UN), assess risk, to articulate and voice their worries (about Abolishing Slavery and its Contemporary Forms (2002), suggests being exposed to danger) and to look after themselves that “The trafficking of persons today can be viewed as (both in the sense of being able to meet their own needs the modern equivalent of the slave trade of the nineteenth to find food and shelter and to take action in self- century.” defence). Young children have a very limited capacity to do any of these things and are consequently dependent on In the late 1990s the UN began discussing a new inter- adults or older children, a dependency which traffickers national treaty aimed at fighting cross-border crime, take advantage of. The capacity of children to recognise including human trafficking. In November 2000 the UN risk and look after themselves increases as they get older General Assembly adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and is deemed to have reached an ‘adult level’ by the time and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and they turn 18, although young adults of 18 or 19 remain Children (the Trafficking Protocol), linked to the UN more vulnerable in this respect than older adults. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime which was adopted at the same time. The UN also adopted a Protocol There are also important distinctions to make between against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, trying categories of children who are trafficked. The key var- to establish a distinction between migrants who are helped iables here are gender (girls versus boys) and age (distin- to cross frontiers illegally (‘smuggled’), and others trapped guishing between adolescents who are almost adult and in some form of exploitation after being moved, usually younger children). Although international standards are after being coerced or tricked (‘trafficked’). The distinct- unequivocal in defining all young people below the age ion was not helped by the translators’ decision to use the of 18 as children, the UN body that guards the standards word meaning ‘traffic’ in French and Spanish to refer to for children’s rights, the Committee on the Rights of ‘smuggling of migrants’ rather than to human trafficking.11 the Child, has recognised that adolescents have different needs to younger children and that different measures are In the definitions adopted by the UN in 2000, a distinct- required to ensure their rights are respected. This is cert- ion was made between the criteria for determining ainly true for adolescents who are exploited by traffickers. whether an adult had been trafficked and those for Young people aged 15 and older are already bread winners assessing the cases of children, who were defined by in many societies and may be used to making decisions international law to include both adolescents and younger about their own lives. They have the same right to seek children. In the case of everyone under 18, the Trafficking a better life as adults. This does not mean, however, that Protocol asserts that any forms of recruitment amount to governments can abdicate responsibility for giving them trafficking if the children or young people are subsequent- the protection to which their age entitles them. ly subjected to various forms of exploitation judged to be abusive, whether the child involved is a helpless five-year- Different ways of trafficking children old or a mature teenager. The term ‘trafficking’ disguises the fact that the ways As we shall see throughout this study, different views of children are recruited and moved vary a great deal from what constitutes trafficking have had an important impact one region to another and according to the age and profile on the action that both governments and other agencies ofthe children for whom there is demand. Younger child- take to stop trafficking. The old idea that trafficking is ren are frequently presented to immigration authorities as just about recruitment into the commercial sex business the children of the adults accompanying them. In India, still makes it difficult to get the message across to govern- for example, both young Indians and young Bangladeshis ments, police and the general public that trafficking in- have been kept in seclusion while they are trained in a volves a wide range of unacceptable forms of exploitation, story to tell officials, in case they are questioned while Kids as Commodities? 19 Terre des Hommes
  • 20. leaving India or entering another country. that young women from Edo State are being trafficked into prostitution in Italy and other EU countries, with While cases do occur of children being abducted, the the result that they have overlooked other cases involving more blatant of these constitute something different to children trafficked within Nigeria and into Nigeria from trafficking. They have involved, for example, more than neighbouring countries. 11,000 children and women abducted during Sudan’s 20- year-long civil war and even larger numbers of children However, it is worth giving some idea of the extent of abducted and forcibly recruited into the ranks of an in- child trafficking and the variety of purposes for which surgent group in Northern Uganda. The political violence children are being moved. At a conference organised in characterising these two cases distinguishes them from Italy by Terre des Hommes and other organisations in July trafficking and the solutions are correspondingly different. 2002, the following patterns were noted. Among the several hundred thousand children recruited into armies and insurgent groups around the world, some European Union are trafficked.12 This recruitment has its own specific Children are trafficked to many EU countries, in partic- characteristics and remedies, which are not dealt with in ular from countries in West Africa and Eastern Europe. this study, as it focuses on trafficking with a profit-making Teenage girls from Eastern Europe are exploited in motive. prostitution, while boys and girls are used to earn money through begging or theft in EU countries. Some children In the case of younger children living with their own fam- are trafficked to France and the United Kingdom to work ilies, trafficking usually starts with the visit of a recruit- as unpaid domestics or to be involved in fraudulent social ment agent, often a relative, who spins the family a story security claims. of the wonderful prospects awaiting the child who accompanies him or her. While a degree of deception may Central and South America be involved, it would be absurd to assume that all poor Trafficking for adoption has occurred from Central Amer- parents or village dwellers are so stupid as to misunder- ica, most notoriously in the aftermath of armed conflicts stand the realities of migration. Rather, they allow their in El Salvador and Guatemala, and also from Andean children to leave in the hope that they will find work and countries. Babies have been taken both to North America end up better off than others. They also hope that money and to Europe. Trafficking for economic exploitation handed over on the spot by the agent, or future also takes place within large countries such as Brazil, and remittances, will help their household survive. across borders, for example from Bolivia to Chile. Adolescents too are wooed by recruitment agents, but South Asia are more likely to make the decision to leave home them- Children in India are trafficked from rural areas to cities selves, with or without consulting with their parents or into a variety of exploitative situations, including prostit- relatives, depending on how good relations between ution, and are trafficked to work in rural-based industries them are. In some societies, adolescents remain such as carpet making in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Similar obedient and leave home when a parent suggests it. In cases occur in Pakistan. Indian brothels take girls from others, adolescents are keen to leave, and the poor state Nepal and Bangladesh. Boys from South Asian countries of their relationship with one or other parent is often a are taken west to work in the Gulf as camel jockeys. Child factor in their decision to leave. labour recruiters in South Asia use loans to poor parents to ‘bond’ children; there is an overlap between child Patterns of cross-border trafficking around trafficking and what has been denounced in South Asia the world as ‘child bonded labour’, as well as with the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Trafficking occurs within countries as well as across borders, but the term trafficking is thought by many in South East Asia government and the media to refer only to cross-border The trafficking of girls into prostitution has achieved the cases. Sometimes children are trafficked in opposite direc- highest profile in this region. Thailand is the most notori- tions across the same border, as in the case of the frontier ous case, with girls recruited in rural areas and neighbour- between India and Nepal, which is infamous for the thou- ing countries. A similar pattern developed in Cambodia in sands of Nepali girls trafficked each year into India’s sex the 1990s. Teenage girls in Vietnam have been trafficked industry, but which Indian children are also taken across to China to be forcibly married or to work. Children are to work as servants in Nepal. The wide range of uses to brought from the southern islands in the Philippines to which trafficked children are put are described in the next the capital, Metro-Manila, where they are exploited as chapter. There is a danger in focusing on only the best- domestics or prostitutes. Children in Indonesia are known child trafficking routes, as huge numbers of other reported to be trafficked for both sexual and economic cases may be overlooked. For example, in Nigeria the exploitation, within Indonesia and abroad. authorities have recently been preoccupied by complaints Kids as Commodities? 20 Terre des Hommes
  • 21. West Africa Two particular routes and forms of exploitation have re- ceived attention: • adolescent boys from Mali and Burkina Faso work on farms in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast); • younger girls from Bénin and Togo are taken to Gabon and Nigeria to work as domestic servants. Southern Africa Children are moved both within South Africa and from countries further north into South Africa, particularly to areas offering economic opportunities, Gauteng and the Western Cape. Most are young girls forced into prostit- ution How many children are trafficked each year? It is hard to come up with meaningful estimates of the numbers of children trafficked into or out of a particular country or region, yet alone in the whole world. When statistics are published, they usually refer exclusively to children who have been trafficked across borders, rather than also counting children trafficked within their own countries. The difficulties of producing meaningful statistics are examined in Chapter 11. In 2002 the ILO’s Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO- IPEC) felt it had gathered enough evidence to make an estimate of the global dimensions of child trafficking and estimated that out of a total of 8.4 million boys and girls engaged in what were called the ‘unconditional worst forms of child labour’, 1.2 million had been trafficked.13 Kids as Commodities? 21 Terre des Hommes
  • 22. Child trafficking is a world-wide phenomenon Diagram 1: Terre des Hommes findings ���� ������� ����� ������� ���� ��������� ����� ���� ����� �������� ���������� ����� �������������� ������������������������������� Kids as Commodities? 22 Terre des Hommes
  • 23. Chapter 3 How trafficked children are exploited T he uses that children are put to and the ways they are exploited after being trafficked vary, in particular according to their age and gender. Making money is always the motive of traffickers and usually the motive of those who exploit children later on, with the partial exceptions of teenage girls trafficked for marriage and babies and young children traf- ficked for adoption. Diagram 3 simplifies the major ‘uses’ that children are put to, based on the most elementary criteria of gender and age. This chapter describes eight notorious types of exploitation that trafficked children experience. Diagram 4 lists the eight and mentions the gender and age of the children generally involved, along with the principal regions where they occur. The eight examples fall in turn into three categories: the first two are examples of sexual exploit- ation; the third concerns trafficking for adoption; and the remaining five involve exploitation of the children’s labour. An additional form of exploitation, concerning children traf- ficked for organ transplants, is mentioned at the end of the chapter. Commercial sexual exploitation Under the label of ‘child prostitution’, the commercial sexual exploitation of girls was widely reported in the 19th Century in both industrialising coun- tries and their colonies. It came under the spotlight again in the 1980s with Western tourists travelling to South- east Asia especially to find child part- ners for sex. This form of exploitation is the one most frequently associated with the notion of ‘child trafficking’ by public opinion around the world and remains synonymous with child trafficking in regions such as South Asia. It is the one which most clearly makes child trafficking a gender issue, even though other forms of exploita- tion (such as children employed as domestic servants) also predominantly involve girls. In this case, a single label - ‘children trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation’ - covers a mul- Girl domestic worker in West Africa titude of different cases, with some children being held in permanent captivity and subjected to repeated rape and others unrestricted in their freedom of movement and apparently choos- ing themselves to continue earning money through commercial sex. While paying for sexual intercourse with children is the main form of commercial sexual exploitation, the arrival of the Internet has seen an explosion in the demand for pornography, including child pornography. It is in the closed environment of brothels (also referred to as ‘massage par- Kids as Commodities? 23 Terre des Hommes
  • 24. DIAGRAM 3: lours’ and by other pseudonyms) that commercial sexual THE ‘USES’ TRAFFICKED CHILDREN ARE PUT TO exploitation is frequently associated with abuse of drugs, ACCORDING TO AGE AND GENDER alcohol and tobacco. Children suffer all sorts of harmful effects from unprotected sex, such as HIV/AIDS and Category of child Common ‘use’ other sexually transmitted infections. One of the most dif- ficult after-effects to combat concerns the stigma suffered Babies (both sexes) Adoption principally by girls who are known or believed to have been exploited for commercial sex. In certain countries this reaches extremes, with parents or brothers murdering Young (pre-puberty) Domestic servants girls and boys (‘household helps’), girls who are alleged to have brought ‘dishonour’ upon selling items on the streets, the family. begging Estimates of the number of children involved in commer- cial sexual exploitation vary widely. In 2000 the ILO es- Adolescent girls Commercial sexual timated the total number around the world to be 1.8 mil- exploitation and domestic lion.14 Estimates in individual countries vary radically. For work example, in the 1990s estimates of the number of children (more seldom – marriage) involved in Thailand varied from 66,190 (a government estimate in 1996) to two million (an NGO estimate gener- Adolescent boys Manual labour including ally regarded as an exaggeration). By 2000 a figure widely agricultural work used by government agencies and NGOs was 200,000. Based on the cases it handled, a Thai NGO, the Centre DIAGRAM 4: THE DIFFERENT FORMS OF EXPLOITATION EXPERIENCED BY TRAFFICKED CHILDREN Type of exploitation Children involved Main geographical areas 1. Commercial sexual exploitation Mainly teenage girls; also some boys. Widespread. Often associated with sex tourism. (prostitution and production of Girls of 16 and 17 are trafficked into Patterns of cross-border trafficking involving adult child pornography) industrialised countries alongside adult women frequently involve younger teenage girls as women. In certain regions there is well, often travelling with passports forged to suggest demand for younger children. they are adults. 2. Marriage Teenage girls. China and bordering countries. 3. Adoption Usually babies. Notably children taken from Latin American countries to North America and from Eastern to Western Europe; also reported elsewhere. 4. Slavery or bonded labour ● Bonded labour (children working in ● Reported primarily in South Asia, e.g. in India’s exchange for a loan to their relative). carpet industry. ● Teenager agricultural workers kept in ● Reported mainly in West Africa. virtual captivity. 5. Domestic servants (in Either mainly teenage girls, or younger Widespread within and sometimes between servitude, rather than legal forms girls and boys recruited under-10. developing countries. Teenage girls (in Philippines); of employment) younger children (in Haïti and West Africa). Some teenagers brought to industrialised countries such as France and the United Kingdom. 6. Begging Younger children – in worst cases Widespread, e.g. within India, in Southeast Asia, deliberately maimed to provoke pity. South Asian children taken to Saudi Arabia; Albanian children taken to Greece. 7. Illicit activities ● Children used to carry out house ● Romanian children exploited in EU countries such break-ins or other theft; as France, Germany and Italy. ● Children used (in industrialised ● Reported in the United Kingdom. countries) for claiming social security payments. 8. Hazardous child labour Both children under 14 (too young in Widespread in Africa and Asia. (threatening children’s health or most countries to be in any form of lives) employment) and older children. Kids as Commodities? 24 Terre des Hommes
  • 25. for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CPCR) estimated has been turned into a profitable business by traffickers, that 40 per cent of all those involved were under 18, particularly as adoption has become ‘Globalised’, with a implying that some 80,000 children are involved in rapid increase in intercountry adoptions of children born commercial sexual exploitation in Thailand.15 Most come in poor countries sought by couples in wealthier from rural areas or neighbouring countries. countries. The recruitment of children in Thailand’s northern In some cases, mothers or parents are paid to sell their highlands to be taken to Bangkok and other commercial baby or young child. In others, mothers are told that a centres to work in prostitution is a pattern that has been baby was stillborn so that hospital staff can traffic the repeated elsewhere, with children belonging to indigenous baby. There are numerous cases of birth certificates or peoples or minorities being popular targets for traffickers. similar documents being falsified to show that babies For example, in the 1990s the number of indigenous teen- belong to someone other than their birth mother. In some age girls found in Taiwan’s sex industry was reported to countries intermediaries who appear to be acting legally, be disproportionately high.16 such as lawyers and notaries, charge such exorbitant fees that they are profiteering from trafficking and should Marriage themselves be considered as accomplices. Ways of arranging marriages persist all over the world that Perceptions about the rights and wrongs of intercountry are either coercive or deny brides (and sometimes bride- adoption vary depending on who is looking at the issue. grooms) a say in whom they are to marry and when. In From the point of view of Westerners who see childless addition to ‘arranged marriages’, there are still all sorts of Western couples adopting children born in developing cases of forced marriage. In some cultures it is still com- countries, there is an assumption that the children are mon for girls to be abducted by the bridegroom or his better off as a result and that the practice is beneficial. relatives, for example in parts of Bénin and Ethiopia. In From the point of view of poor families in communities others, notably in China, it is common for an intermediary where children are routinely adopted by Westerners, there to be involved in the abduction, in order to make a profit is desperate hope that children will end up better off, but by delivering a young woman to her prospective husband: usually horrifying ignorance, particularly about whether in this case it qualifies as trafficking. In addition to ab- birth parents have any legal rights. Some observers see the ducting women for marriage, however, marriage agents export of large numbers of babies from particular coun- play a role in many societies in negotiating marriages and tries as little better than child stealing and take the view are remunerated for their efforts. On the whole this that many of the intermediaries involved are traffickers. traditional role is regarded as perfectly acceptable. A recent international convention attempts to regulate the However, accompanying the process of globalisation practice of intercountry adoption and to ban ‘improper since the 1980s, there has also been a rapid expansion in financial gain’ (see Chapter 8 for details). A UNICEF the number of marriages arranged by commercial interme- report on Intercountry Adoption in 1998 noted an upward diaries, involving men from well-off countries in the West trend in the mid-1990s in the number of children from and women from other parts of the world. The arrival of developing countries being adopted by couples in seven the Internet means that Western men can view women industrialised countries: from 16,027 in 1993 to 23,199 from Russia or Southeast Asian countries ‘on- line’. Even by 1997, with a single country, the USA, accounting for so, the circumstances in which marriage brokers should more than half the intercountry adoptions in the seven be categorised as traffickers remain unclear, even in the countries. cases of young women and men aged under 18. The most clear-cut cases of trafficking into marriage remain those The region in which intercountry adoption has been most reported in China, where a combination of the ‘one-child notorious and most criticised as a form of child trafficking family’ policy and the migration of young women to work is Central America, with large numbers of children being in cities has resulted in a shortage of brides in many areas. taken abroad from El Salvador and later Guatemala fol- Reports about trafficking in the Mekong river region, par- lowing wars there. Even without armed conflict, however, ticularly in China’s southern Yunnan Province, note that the combination of poverty and social prejudice against trafficking of women linked to marriage seemed to reach unmarried mothers fuels the supply side in the region and a high point in the 1990s and may now be on the decline. in 2000 a UN Special Rapporteur noted with concern that “Intercountry adoption developed into a profitable busi- Adoption ness as a result of the large number of children who were orphaned or abandoned during the years of conflict”.17 Adoption is a perfectly acceptable – and necessary – solu- By 1997 1,252 intercountry adoptions were reported from tion for children whose own parent or parents are dead or Guatemala, of which the largest number of children (831) cannot look after them. However, as in other situations went to the US, followed by France (163).The UN Special associated with child trafficking, a traditional institution Rapporteur gave a chilling account of the way she was Kids as Commodities? 25 Terre des Hommes
  • 26. told the adoption business worked in Guatemala City in It concerns children who cannot leave their employer, 2000: either because they have been abducted and are held captive, or for other reasons. The most common “The lawyer or notary processing the adoption is the most active actor situation, already mentioned in the last chapter, is that in the whole procedure (and the person who benefits most), finding a child’s parent or guardian has accepted a payment in the babies to be placed for adoption, representing both the birth advance from a trafficker or employer, putting the child mother and the adopter, and issuing the certificate of adoption. It is into ‘debt bondage’ for either a specific or unspecified likewise reported that the lawyers handling adoptions, in collusion period of time. The region where this practice is most with others, also operate houses where children who are stolen or notorious is South Asia (mainly India, Nepal and purchased are cared for while awaiting finalization of the intercoun- Pakistan). Although most cases constitute trafficking try adoption. These are known as ‘casas cunas’ (cot or crib houses) under the UN’s Trafficking Protocol, it is still referred but are often derisively referred to as ‘casas de engordeza’ (fattening to (and prohibited, at least by law) in South Asia as houses).” 18 ‘bonded child labour’. She reported estimates that the actual cost of adoption Child domestic servants procedures was about US$300 and that this was the amount that lawyers could charge couples for adoption Employing a teenager as a domestic servant, either to within Guatemala. However, in the case of intercountry live in the employer’s residence or while still living at adoptions, couples from other countries were reported home, is legitimate if the teenager concerned is above to pay as much as US$25,000 per adoption! The abus- the minimum age for employment and subject to regular ive nature of the business was illustrated by a case in conditions of employment.However, the past two which the Special Rapporteur was told that one mother decades have seen a marked rise in exploitative cases of had provided 33 children for adoption over a period of this sort, with children of both sexes below the age of only two-and-a-half years, alleging all the children were 10 being sent to live and work for long hours for other her own! The adoptions allegedly fulfilled Guatemala’s families in regions such as West Africa, India and Haïti, legal requirements, despite the number of children in- and adolescent girls also trafficked into domestic work volved. The case was apparently uncovered by the visa and unable to leave or assert their rights once they have section of the US embassy, but only after all 33 children been placed with an employer. The longest established had left Guatemala and the adoptions were considered pattern of this sort has been reported from Haïti, where irreversible.19 rural children referred to as restaveks are sent to work for slightly better off households, usually in the capital, The social and economic dislocation that followed the Port-au-Prince. A special whip exists in Haïti for beating end of communism in Eastern Europe created a simil- restavek children. Numerous efforts have been made to re- ar boom in intercountry adoptions. Following rapid increases in the numbers of babies being taken abroad for adoption, a number of governments imposed temp- Bonded To Embroider orary bans on intercountry adoptions.20 Other regions Eight-year-old Mohammed S. from Mahottari District in of the world are also affected by the demand for babies Nepal was interviewed at an embroidery factory in Mumbai for adoption and the opportunities to make money out (India). He told a researcher working with a Nepali NGO, of it. In the last few years concern about cases of WOREC (Women’s Rehabilitation Centre), that he had abusive intercountry adoptions has been voiced by been working there for seven months without being paid. He worked for 16 to 18 hours a day, he said, and was given NGOs in other countries, particularly Cambodia. two meals a day and “tea occasionally”. Child rights NGOs that oppose child trafficking are S. showed a lot of dark marks and wounds on his thigh and sometimes involved in organising inter-country other parts of his body as a result of severe beating by the employer. He said that this is very common, particularly adoptions themselves, and try to promote good when the workers delay on their jobs … S. further added, practice. Terre des Hommes plays this role when seeking a “While working if I fall asleep they pour salt and chilli better future for abandoned children and has powder in my eyes…” introduced a number of safeguards to prevent abuse. S. explained that he had been brought to Mumbai by a man These include exploring all the options to enable a child from Mahottari, who he knew had been paid 1500 Nepali to remain in his or her country of origin (including Rupees [US$20] for bringing him. After six months, referred adoption there) before adoption abroad is considered. to as an ‘internship period’, S. asked for his wages. He was told that the man from Mahottari had already taken his wages both for the first year when he was being trained, Slavery and bonded labour and for the subsequent one and a half years. Meanwhile, S. was told, “he is bonded to the factory owner”. Child slavery is quite distinct from child labour involv- ing children who are younger than the minimum age From: WOREC, Cross Border Trafficking of Boys, 2002. for entry into employment or working for low wages. Kids as Commodities? 26 Terre des Hommes
  • 27. form the pattern of exploitation involved, so far with little ficked so that one of their organs, such as a kidney, can success. Traffickers have generally been quick to identify be sold and used as a transplant for the child of a richer the demand for child domestics as one they can satisfy family. This is widely known as an ‘urban myth’. While while making significant profits, in part by exploiting the a certain amount of evidence is available to show that it ignorance of the children’s parents, but mainly by exploit- does occur, in many developing cities this is the principal ing the children’s vulnerability once they have left home form of exploitation that poor families have heard of and and their inability to protest effectively against conditions fear, even in the absence of evidence. The information and terms of employment that often have the hallmarks available suggests that, while cases occur, it is much less of debt bondage or slavery. common than popular fears suggest. In 1997 a working group set up by Colombia University in New York (US) Child beggars reviewed the evidence available about the trafficking of children for organ transplants and concluded: Some children beg because they or their families are gen- uinely destitute, but in many other cases children are “The Task Force finds no reliable evidence to substantiate these recruited and trafficked especially to earn money for contentions. Not one documented case exists of murder or kidnap others by begging. This represents a cynical way of or sale of children for their organs.” 22 taking advantage of the public’s inclination to give charity, particularly when this is regarded as a religious duty. Of This statement suggests that cases never occur. However, course, not all child beggars have been trafficked. there does seem to be some evidence that cases occur, but Sometimes children see how much others are earning and relatively few; far fewer that the ‘urban myth’ suggests. chose this way of earning money for themselves. Children in illicit activities Bangladeshi boys in UAE Children are put to work in various other illegal ways, R. is 12, to take money for the adults who control them. In although he English fiction, the classic example was a gang of child looks seven. pick-pockets in 19th Century London, described in … In his Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Recent cases reported damp-blistered safe house in of Romanian children trafficked to France and Italy to Dhaka there take part in illegal activities seem depressingly similar. is an iron Terre des Hommes and a French NGO, La Voix de l’Enfant, grille and a padlock on the have recorded how large numbers of boys and girls entrance and migrate to France from the Oas, a poor agricultural a guard on the area in northwest Romania, many of them to take part gate. No one in burglaries and other activities organised by criminal wants him to fall back into the hands of those who preyed on him. The predators in question are the organised gangs gangs.21 who spirited him away from his family in Bangladesh, smuggled him to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and set Hazardous child labour him to work as a camel racing jockey. …R. was five when he was abducted. … Children are trafficked into jobs that are particularly haz- R. unfolds his memories in scraps, a grim little collection ardous, sometimes because employers specifically want from the darkest corners of a child’s mind. He answers malleable youngsters to do such work and sometimes questions dutifully, but volunteers nothing. He neither because, once trafficked into a country where they have flinches nor warms to a pat on the arm and to other attempts to comfort and reassure him. He avoids my no legal status or are not entitled to work, the children can gaze. His misery, it seems, cannot easily be shared with only work in jobs where they have no legal protection. A an outsider. But slowly the pieces fall into place. He dangerous occupation into which young boys have been remembers the day a woman befriended his penniless trafficked for many years involves riding camels in races mother and then moved into a hut in his village. He remembers going to the same woman’s house to play in Gulf countries, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the with her son and staying the night. The next thing he United Arab Emirates (see Box). Although racing fans in recalls was waking up to find he and the woman were the Gulf regard it as a relatively innocuous occupation for on an aeroplane. R. remembers how, once in Dubai, the children, in reality boys who fall off racing camels have same woman pretended she was his real mother. He was handed over to some men and remembers how the soles been severely injured. of his tiny feet burned on the sand when they took him out to the desert to ride the camels… Organ extraction and trafficking Extract from an article by Phil Reeves published in the British daily newspaper, The Independent, on 29 October 2003 (omitting Possibly the most controversial form of exploitation of all, the name cited in the article). stories abound around the world of children being traf- Kids as Commodities? 27 Terre des Hommes
  • 28. Chapter 4 Why children are available for traffickers T his chapter reviews the supply side of child traffick- ing, looking at the reasons why children are available to be trafficked and why they migrate away from home in the countries concerned and hit young women particularly hard. Not surprisingly, they looked for solutions abroad; many ended up in the hands of traffick- by themselves. Conventionally, the reason given most ers. However, their poverty was only one factor prominence is poverty. It is clear that poverty is an precipitating them into abuse: equally important was the important factor that ‘enables’ trafficking to take place, demand in the informal economy, in the EU and else- but it is not a cause by itself. There are plenty of poor where, for young women in the sex industry and as communities around the world whose children are not domestic workers, a demand which the governments of trafficked. the countries concerned did little or nothing to stem. Existing restrictions on migration meant that migrants Poverty, globalisation and restrictions on with no legal entitlement to work in EU countries could migration be subjected to abuse with virtual impunity, whatever their age, for they could not seek the protection of the law or The principal reason why children, as well as adults, the authorities for fear of being deported. from particular communities end up being trafficked is the lack of alternative ways of earning a living for them Instead of blaming poverty by itself, therefore, it would and their families. Poverty may signify destitution and probably be more correct to blame the absence of the inability of the families concerned to feed their own economic stability (and with it a shortage of jobs) for children. However, poverty has numerous causes, linked persuading parents to part with their children and suggest- to discrimination and inequality in the ownership of land ing to young people that they would be better off seeking and other resources, both in specific countries and at the their future away from home. The high profile given to international level. globalisation should not hide the fact that pre-existing inequalities in many countries marginalise certain Globalisation has been blamed for many social evils over communities. Even before the pace of ‘globalisation’ the past decade, the period when human trafficking has increased, local inequalities left poor families unable to once again come to international attention. However, feed their children. poor and marginalised communities have felt compelled to migrate and have been exposed to the risks of traf- In addition to the demand for cheap labour created by ficking for much longer. The particular characteristic economic forces, the reduction in infant mortality in vari- of globalisation in recent times is that the rules of inter- ous developing countries has increased the number of national trade have been modified to permit capital to poor families with large numbers of children. Unable to move across frontiers and continents in an unrestricted create new economic opportunities at home, whether in way, whereas people (or ‘labour’) cannot move with the rural Bénin, northern Thailand or elsewhere, sending one same freedom. or more of the children away often seems a reasonable option. The idea that traffickers are like vultures hang- Rich investors consequently take their capital to coun- ing around a community waiting to get their claws into tries in which labour costs are low. In theory this looks the poorest and most vulnerable is a caricature. Some like an arrangement designed to reduce migration, taking intermediaries are needed to protect migrants, including investment to places where cheap labour is available. children, from abuse and to help them find new work. In practice the places where investors create jobs, even To complicate this picture, there is evidence from some badly paid jobs, inevitably attract migrants from the areas that it is not young people from the poorest families surrounding countryside, regions and neighbouring who migrate or who are trafficked, that the very poor stay countries. At the same time, the reduced economic op- at home to be exploited locally, while better off people, portunities open to people who remain outside places with more education and higher aspirations, set off on the incorporated into the global economy have the effect of migration trail. Some of the evidence for this is reviewed encouraging migration and with it abuses such as traf- in Chapter 11, in the context of finding out the facts and ficking and the indignities of migrant smuggling. challenging preconceptions about child trafficking. The years immediately after the end of the Cold War, when the term ‘globalisation’ came into vogue, saw the collapse of the centrally-planned economies of the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. This drastically reduced job opportunities for everyone Kids as Commodities? 28 Terre des Hommes
  • 29. Lack of education either to be trafficked or to be given low status forms of work. The case of teenage Nepali girls trafficked to India School education does not guarantee that a child will not is well known. In addition, many teenage girls from be trafficked, but in most parts of the world it reduces India’s Adivasi communities (referred to in India as a child’s vulnerability or exposure to the circumstances ‘tribals’) are recruited in Jharkand, in the east of the in which trafficking occurs. For this reason, in countries country, and taken 500 kilometres west to work as where children usually remain at school until the end of domestic servants in Mumbai. Assessing whether their compulsory education, such as Albania, abandoning children have been trafficked because they belong to school is interpreted by child rights NGOs, including particular communities or rather because they come from Terre des Hommes, as suggesting that the child concerned poor families is often difficult. However, it is clear that is likely to become involved in economic activities and is discrimination plays an important role in marginalising in danger of being trafficked. certain communities and keeping them poor. Lack of education has a series of consequences: the Cultural norms children concerned are less qualified to get the jobs that are available locally; they are less aware of alternatives In addition to discrimination, other forms of behaviour to the way of life they are familiar with; and they are less make children vulnerable to trafficking. These are some- informed about the risks involved in migrating. times referred to as ‘cultural practices’, a neutral-sounding In Burkina Faso, research by the World Bank and Terre term which disguises the harm inflicted. The most notor- des Hommes confirmed that there was a link between a ious is the discrimination practiced against girls all over lack of schooling available in certain villages and the the world. Discrimination against girls is backed up by inclination of their parents there to send their children marriage-related customs which involve girls moving away away to work for others, in part to acquire an from home at marriage and consequently being regarded ‘education’ (even if not in school) from others. This as less deserving than their brothers of education or other research showed that it was not sufficient for there forms of social investment. Some customs are reinforced simply to be a school in a village to make the difference: by systems of payment surrounding marriage, such as the school had to be relatively easy to reach and to dowries paid by a bride’s family to the bridegroom’s, or provide a reasonably good level of education.23 bridewealth payments made by the bridegroom to his future bride’s family. Whenever girls move away from Other social factors their families at marriage, they are less likely to be given an economic stake in the family’s farm or business and All sorts of factors limit children’s access to schools and consequently have to find an alternative source of income education, including poverty and the need for children to in order to assert their economic independence. contribute to their household’s income from an early age and discrimination based on both gender and social The result in some societies is that girls have very few origins. These social issues have a marked influence in options when they reach puberty. In parts of West Africa, making some children more likely to be trafficked than the choice has been described as one between early others. marriage, on the one hand, and leaving home to work, usually as a housemaid or domestic servant, on the other. Discrimination In several parts of the world, notably West Africa and Less palatable to mention than poverty, discrimin- Southeast Asia, researchers reporting on child trafficking ation against particular communities on account of the have observed that children from particular ethnic groups racial or ethnic origins, as well as other aspects of their are regarded as more obedient or malleable than others. identity, plays a major role in determining why some This apparently increases demand for them for specific children are trafficked and others are not. The way traf- uses (such as employment as a housemaid). In Southeast fickers have targeted hill tribes in Northern Thailand was Asia, the readiness of girls to follow their parents’ (or mentioned in the last chapter. The Albanian children father’s) wishes in leaving home to earn money through trafficked to Greece to earn money for others are also commercial sex is said to be caused by their strong sense chosen on account of their origins: almost all belong of religious duty to obey their parents. to a Roma community known in Albania as the Jevgjit or Jevg (‘Egyptians’). In both cases, however, it is the vulnerability of children from these communities which makes them attractive to traffickers, not their racial or ethnic origin as such. Equally notorious is the way children are selected in South Asian countries on account of their caste status, Kids as Commodities? 29 Terre des Hommes
  • 30. Apart from gender-based cultural practices, some minor- Central and Eastern Europe mentioned already and Asia’s ity communities around the world attribute less 1997 economic crisis. importance to school education than others living along- side them and consequently encourage their children to One of the most worrying characteristics of crises is leave school early (or not to attend school at all) in order that the very people whom the international community to start work. For example, nomadic groups dependent dispatches to give assistance have become a factor in en- on livestock may consider that school education does couraging trafficking, by creating a demand for commercial little or nothing to equip their children for their expected sex. In Europe, this was noted in the second half of the occupation. By itself, this does not make children 1990s, first in Bosnia and later in Kosovo. However, more vulnerable to traffickers. However, it creates the than a decade ago the arrival of international forces in ‘pre-conditions’ in which trafficking can occur quite Mozambique was associated with a drastic increase in child easily if, for example, the livelihood that such children prostitution. Over a much longer period the presence of could once depend on disappears. In a context like this, foreign troops, whatever their status, has created a demand with a community under-valuing formal schooling and for commercial sex. accustomed to discrimination in employment and other walks of life, children from Albania’s Jevgjit community It is principally in Europe that organisations concerned were the ones most readily available for traffickers to about child rights and about migration began to suspect in take to Greece in the 1990s. the late 1990s that there was close relationship between the numbers of foreign children entering countries who were Domestic violence unaccompanied by a close family member and child traf- ficking. The children concerned are referred to as In addition to cultural factors affecting entire ‘unaccompanied minors’. communities, there are particular circumstances that make children in individual families vulnerable to being In countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom, trafficked. The prejudice against unmarried mothers in hundreds of unaccompanied teenagers have asked for asy- parts of Latin America has already been mentioned as lum, alleging that they had been subjected to persecution in a reason why their babies are available for commercial their country of origin. However, worrying numbers have adoption. Many investigations have revealed that subsequently gone missing or been found in various forms children from single-parent households are more likely of exploitation, fuelling concern both that asylum proce- to be trafficked than those with two parents. Similarly, in dures are being used to get access to industrialised coun- communities where domestic violence occurs routinely, tries for young migrants and that the children concerned particularly physical abuse of children (either sexual are in fact being trafficked in order to be exploited. The abuse or physical assaults and beatings), children in existence of significant numbers of unaccompanied minors affected families are more inclined than other children does not in itself constitute evidence that child trafficking to leave home of their own accord. is taking place, but once again, it is a pre-condition and indicates that further investigations need to be carried out. Crises: natural and man-made This issue is examined again in more detail in Chapter 15. In addition to inequalities and the lack of economic op- Ambition and hope portunities that are due to the structure of the economy, crises periodically hit communities, which oblige them to The positive reasons for children to leave home concern move and make their children vulnerable to traffickers. their wish – or the wish of their parents - to seek a better Crises take many forms. In each case it is children who life elsewhere. Throughout the world people are encour- have become destitute or are unaccompanied by relatives aged from every angle to believe that better opportunities who have been the easiest prey for traffickers. Some are exist elsewhere: by migrants returning home with stories of natural, such as earthquakes. Some are caused by disease, fields paved with gold and by images in films and on with HIV/AIDS being a major cause at the moment. television. The death of one or both parents has turned children While the governments of the wealthier countries where into heads of households and bread-winners; it has migrants want to work usually make it clear that migrants precipitated many onto the streets, with no one accept- are unwelcome (at least unless they obtain a work permit in ing responsibility to look after them. By 2001, the UN advance), both counter-trafficking organisations and others reported there were 13 million AIDS orphans (children concerned with migration have tried to ‘empower’ would- who had lost their mother or both parents to AIDS). be migrants by giving them information to help them avoid Some are caused by armed conflict and associated abuse. Some examples of this will be looked at in Chapter human rights abuse, such as the genocide in Rwanda in 14, in the context of efforts to prevent trafficking. There 1994, which left large numbers of orphans. Some are is also a general realisation that counter-trafficking strate- caused by economic change, such as the disruptions in gies have to be based on the perceptions and aspirations of Kids as Commodities? 30 Terre des Hommes
  • 31. the people involved, both children and those around them.24 Despite such initiatives, and despite numerous campaigns to make the public more aware of the risks involved in migration, there is evidence that many teenagers remain blissfully (and dangerously) ignorant. In the course of research in Latvia, the project for the Prevention of Adolescent Trafficking (PPAT) there carried out a baseline survey of more than 3,000 young people between 14 and 25 about their experiences and attitudes to working abroad. It found that 66 per cent aspired to do so, while 11 per cent (305) had already worked abroad. Of those with experience of working abroad, nearly 50 per cent said they had not checked to see if the job agency or opportunity was safe and legitimate and 36 per cent had not signed or reviewed an employment contract. As far as basic precautions against getting into trouble were concerned, more than a third had not kept a copy of their passport with relatives or friends and less than a quarter had informed friends or relatives of a codeword or message which would indicate that they had got into trouble and needed help.25 Clearly, there was a great deal more for them to learn. Kids as Commodities? 31 Terre des Hommes
  • 32. Chapter 5 Who helps trafficking to occur? Organised crime or small-scale criminals? ment agencies based in parts of East Africa and Asia who recruit young women to work as domestic servants in the When the issue of human trafficking was discussed at the Middle East, knowing that many will be kept in captivity UN in the late 1990s, it was repeatedly emphasised that by their employers to ensure they do not run off. Some trafficking human beings had become a more profitable agencies have helped young women under 18 acquire false business than trafficking other commodities, such as identify documents indicating that they are older, perhaps drugs. The premise underlying both the UN’s Trafficking believing genuinely that they are helping the teenagers get Protocol adopted in 2000 and its Convention against jobs, when in reality they are playing a role in trafficking Transnational Organized Crime was that ‘organised crime’ children. was the main culprit responsible for trafficking. The issues of debt and what is known as ‘debt bondage’ The evidence reveals something different. While the complicates the recruitment of migrants the world over, ‘business’ of trafficking women into prostitution in indus- for almost by definition migrants require financial trialised countries certainly involves some well organised assistance from someone to pay the cost of their initial criminal networks, on the whole the recruitment and journey to the place where they intend to earn money, and trafficking of children and adults is dominated by people this assistance usually takes the form of a loan. Loans are who do not belong to a large organised crime syndicate routinely used as leverage on migrant workers of every (such as the Mafia), but to a smaller network with a few age to force them to work, both in the commercial sex representatives in different countries. They have spotted industry and other jobs. However, most migrants see no opportunities to make easy money by taking children and alternative way of financing their journeys and accept adults from the places where they exist in ready supply to some degree of exploitation of this sort as unavoidable. places where there is a demand for them. Furthermore, when the debt is incurred in one country and a migrant subjected to coercion and threats in an- In a horrifying number of cases, the individuals who traf- other, no single government can enforce a ban on debt fic children and make money out of them during their bondage. Children transported on the Etireno were victims exploitation are either close relatives or close friends of of debt bondage, as were many others whose cases are the family of the child involved. Teenage Albanian girls, described in this study. for example, are reported to have been trafficked by both relatives and fiancés known to their families. The issue When organised crime does take over trafficking rings, for here is not so much the ‘criminal’ mentality of the traffick- example in the case of Thai girls taken to Japan, the level ers, but the fact that social and family cohesion have been of violence threatened and used against trafficking victims weakened to such an extent that they no longer deter such who refuse to follow orders is frightening. However, in forms of deception and exploitation. the case of children, all sorts of other ways are used to make them do what their traffickers want. Particularly In West Africa, a fishing village near Port Harcourt insidious is the influence that boy friends have over teen- (Nigeria) transformed itself during the 1990s into a point age girls and relatives wield over trafficked children. In of transit for children being trafficked across the sea to Albania, there have been countless cases of a teenage girl Gabon. The children arrived by van from countries leaving home with a boyfriend who has either promised to further west. Fishermen with large canoes powered by marry her or actually gone through a wedding ceremony, outboard engines adapted them to take dozens of children and who subsequently takes her abroad and obliges her to at a time across the Bight of Benin, a journey lasting earn money for him in prostitution or sells her to a pimp. several days, sometimes in rough seas. It started as opportunism and became a well organised business, Terre des Hommes’ investigations in Indonesia revealed that although no single gang has been identified as dominating people involved in trafficking included children’s parents, the trade. elder brothers or sisters, other relatives and close friends, government agencies and commercial agencies recruiting Ordinary labour recruitment agencies are involved in traf- both for the entertainment industry and maids.26 Not sur- ficking in some countries, although most protest that they prisingly, in Thailand, which is more commercialised, the are innocent of any wrong-doing and are simply helping range of people involved was even broader and included poor people acquire jobs. They argue that it is not their village leaders, school teachers, temple monks, police at agency’s responsibility if the workers concerned are sub- frontier check-points and elsewhere, brothel owners, local sequently exploited in a merciless way by their employers. doctors, bank officials, taxi drivers, tour operators and This contradiction has been obvious in the case of recruit- criminal gangs. In neighbouring Vietnam, the range is Kids as Commodities? 32 Terre des Hommes
  • 33. narrower, but includes adoption rings, orphanage the death of a young Ivorian girl in London highlighted directors and government officials in justice and health the risk of children being smuggled into the United King- departments. 27 Trafficking is a business in which a lot of dom with false identities. people have a stake! Border police are regularly reported to be bribed by traf- Others who facilitate trafficking fickers or to be colluding directly with traffickers’ activities and sharing in their profits. At the same time, Distinguishing exactly who is a trafficker is difficult when there is also a tendency in some countries to assume too a host of individuals are aware of what is going on and easily that all law enforcement personnel are corrupt and make their contribution and when migrants need and in league with criminals. deserve assistance from a series of intermediaries, all of whom have to make some money to survive. While governments and law enforcement agencies rely on a strategy of prosecutions to deter traffickers, the Transport workers reasons why NGOs and others involved in counter- trafficking work need to find out more about traffickers All sorts of transport workers play a role – bus and lorry are different. It is vital to understand traffickers’ motives drivers, taxi drivers, sailors operating ferries and airport and the way they work in order to find ways of check-in staff – some consciously, but most unwittingly. influencing them, in the hope that alternative strategies Like the staff of recruitment agencies, many are con- can complement direct attacks on them based on the law. vinced they are performing a useful service by transport- Indeed, in some circumstances these may prove more ing people to places where there are jobs, even if this effective. means helping them to avoid a border check-point and to cross a border illegally. Their good intentions are exploit- ed by traffickers, but can potentially be turned around, as we shall see in Chapter 14, by persuading transport workers to play a role in stopping trafficking. Professionals In cases involving babies trafficked for adoption, lawyers, health professionals and various government officials have been closely involved in countries in both Asia and Latin America. Their role in Guatemala was mentioned in Chapter 3. In Cochabamba, a city in Bolivia, the NGO In- fante collected evidence of the complicity of a wide range of professionals in activities which certainly constitute ‘improper financial gain’ and contribute to child traffick- ing.28 One woman described how a lawyer had offered to ‘help’ her: “ … I didn’t want to keep my baby girl, I wanted to give her away … the lawyer told me she could leave her with a family with no children who would look after the baby well, as if it was their own. The lawyer convinced me, I didn’t know the family, but they had money and so I agreed to hand over my little girl … the lawyer offered me 500 Bolivianos [US$84 in 2000], but I said she should only give me 200 [US$34], as that was all I’d spent …” Officials who help traffickers Cross-border trafficking, of children as well as adults, of- ten requires the services of a document forger to produce fake documents. However, official procedures for obtain- ing passports, while often so expensive that they penalise ordinary migrants, can be influenced by bribes or other arrangements so that government departments issue genuine documents showing false ages. British journalists demonstrated that this was the case in Côte d’Ivoire after Kids as Commodities? 33 Terre des Hommes
  • 34. Chapter 6 The harm caused to children from trafficking C hildren suffer both during the phase of being trafficked and during their sub sequent exploitation. They suffer direct physical harm in some cases, but often less obvious damage continues to affect them over a long period. Sadly, they are sometimes Ill-treatment of the Etireno children while also exposed to harm once they are in the safe keeping of police or others responsible in transit for protecting them. When the Etireno reached Gabon’s capi- Among young children who are trafficked, it is those adopted as babies who at first tal, Libreville, it moored sight appear to suffer the least, on the grounds that they are unaware of what is hap- out to sea to avoid pening to them. However, even if they benefit in material ways in a new home, they discovery. The children lose out by being taken away from their original family and culture and losing their on board reported af- identity. Furthermore, irregularities in the process of adoption are likely to prevent an terwards that the ship adopted child from ever tracing his or her birth parents, creating a potential crisis later disembarked most of on. its passengers by ca- noe, but the Gabonese While the children involved may never realise what has happened, or not until they are police arrived before grown up, their birth mother or parents are aware of their loss straight away and suffer everyone had landed. from it. However, as soon as efforts are made to restore a trafficked baby to its original The police allowed a parents, all sorts of complications arise, due to the child’s upbringing in a different few adults whose pa- culture. The longer a child has remained with adoptive parents in a new and different pers were in order to culture, the more difficult it is to be sure that returning home is in the child’s best leave, but the others, interests and it consequently hardly ever happens in practice. Consequently, the return including all 40 of a trafficked baby to its biological parents hardly ever occurs. children, were detained in a military barracks. Children who are moved illegally are exposed to all the dangers of migrants being The children were smuggled, thousands of whom are reported to have drowned in unauthorised sea hungry. Three were crossings in the Mediterranean in recent years. They are at the mercy of both their beaten and had their smugglers and any police or other officials who come across them. Once again, the money stolen by experience of the 35 children who were trafficked on the Etireno in 2001 serves as an Gabonese police. Even example of what can happen. the children who had parents in Gabon The effects of leaving home prematurely and being put to work in an exploitative remained in custody. situation depend on the age of the child concerned. In most cases, both their They remained in socialisation and education are halted prematurely, leaving a permanent mark on the Gabon for five days. child concerned. This chapter concentrates primarily on the physical and psychological On the sixth day, the suffering inflicted on children, which can potentially be addressed by agencies which occupants were come to their assistance later on. Such agencies can also try and fill the socialisation or returned to the Etireno education ‘gap’, although whatever assistance they can provide is often short-term and and sent back to Bénin has to focus on the children’s immediate needs. by the Gabonese au- thorities, who Diagram 5 summarises the harm inflicted on children during the various phases of considered them all to trafficking, each of which has possible long-term consequences that need addressing be illegal immigrants. by organisations which provide care to children who have been trafficked. During the last three days before they Coercion to make children obey orders docked in Cotonou, the children received It is the very dependency that young children have on adults – for food and other nothing to drink. material needs, as well as emotional dependency – which traffickers make use of to force children do as they want, once they have been taken away from their home community. An Albanian girl trafficked to Greece told Terre des Hommes that “Our bosses ill-treat us when we play or don’t want to work”. A former police officer investigating their predicament reported to Terre des Hommes that: “Numerous children described to us the ill-treatment they had been subjected to, such as being burned Kids as Commodities? 34 Terre des Hommes
  • 35. with cigarettes on their bodies, slapped, insulted, made to swallow shampoo for having looked ill, and obliged to sleep outside … ” 29 Children in all forms of exploita- tion are conditioned to believe that they have no alternative and are thereby deprived of motivation to escape. The research in Greece revealed that Albanian children were taught that the police would beat them, that social workers were also a source of danger and that the only person the child could trust was his or her boss. In some cases harsh means are used to make children do as they are told. In the case of Bangla- deshi children who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, a Rapid Assessment carried out for ILO-IPEC30 re- ported the following techniques used on 12 and 13-year-olds: • Sedatives injected into them; • Sexual abuse; • Starvation; • Threats and fear; • Physical abuse; • House arrest; • Forced use of drugs and alcohol; • Verbal abuse. In the case of children kept in commercial sexual exploitation the feeling that they have no alternat- ives is reinforced by feelings of guilt and fear of social stigma, of never being able to return to their home community.31 The effects of exploitation The type of exploitation that children experience and the age routine, it also occurs because children working away from home have no they are when they experience it relative or guardian to react on their behalf at the sight of their tears, bruises determine the impact on them and scars. in the long-term. Most forms of exploitation require children to be The specific effects of commercial sexual exploitation subservient and undermine their self-esteem. Children working in Sexual exploitation has very specific effects that require equally specific treat- many different jobs are subjected ment. While it is associated specifically with prostitution, teenage girls in all to beatings and corporal punish- sorts of occupations (particularly those working in the relative secrecy of private ment. Although in some cultures homes) are subjected to sexual advances from their employers and others. In such ill-treatment is considered some cases, trafficked children subjected to sexual exploitation are suffering Kids as Commodities? 35 Terre des Hommes
  • 36. from post traumatic stress by the time agencies offer them assistance. In addition to any physical abuse used to coerce them into obedience at the outset, Diagram 5 indicates that girls who are required to have sexual intercourse frequently with adults are exposed to a series of other risks. Some of these are potentially lethal. Boys involved in commercial sexual ex- ploitation run some of the same risks. Furthermore children kept in a brothel may also experience drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or other substance misuse. Some of the effects are clearly physical, while others are behavioural. Children subjected to sexual exploitation are regularly reported to be distrustful of adults and this distrust seems to be more acute than in the case of children who experience other forms Illustrations of ill-treatment: a girl having boiling water thrown on her feet and a boy threatened with a beating. of exploitation. An additional From ‘Dritani Robot’, a cartoon about an Albanian child complication concerns children in- named Dritan trafficked abroad, distributed to primary volved in commercial sexual school children in Albania by Terre des Hommes. Original exploitation who have been able to drawings in colour by Fadil Fyshku. retain a significant proportion of their earnings and have become used to having a relatively high disposable income, making it difficult subsequently to persuade them to accept jobs which pay less. ECPAT-International has noted a long list of effects that sexual abuse can have on children’s behaviour. All can be treated afterwards, but take time and sometimes a great deal of dif- ficulty. They are: fear, depression, low self esteem and self worth, poor social skills, anger and hostility, inability to trust and build meaningful relation- ships in later life, blurred roles and boundaries, appearing ‘older’ (‘pseudo- maturity’),sexualized behaviour, guilt, shame, feeling ‘different’ from others, isolation, substance use and misuse, self harm (including suicide), post traumatic stress disorder (and many others!).32 Kids as Commodities? 36 Terre des Hommes
  • 37. TRANSIT PHASE Dangers during illegal frontier IMPACT THROUGHOUT ALL crossing PHASES: • Lack of schooling Dangers from unsafe transport • Lack of normal socialisation • Lack of affection Violence from police or other interceptors Loss of identify if trained to claim a false name EXPLOITATION Coercion to make child obey orders: torture/corporal PHASE punishment / trauma / physical scars or disability Occupational diseases Specific effects of commercial Children in a brothel – possible sexual exploitation effects of drugs, alcohol and other substance misuse Effects of sexual violence and unprotected sex Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS Programmed to be obedient • Unwanted pregnancy/motherhood • Early motherhood • Fistula Programmed to fear police / inquiring adults Behavioural effects of sexual abuse RECOVERY AND Ill-treatment in police custody REINTEGRATION or residential care PHASE Risks associated with unprepared deportation Threats or actual violence from trafficker against child or relatives Stigma of sexual exploitation, if known / revealed Diagram 5 Harm inflicted on children who are trafficked Kids as Commodities? 37 Terre des Hommes
  • 38. Chapter 7 Responses to child trafficking and respecting child rights The next part of this study is about ways that child traf- children’s voices are heard and subsequent interventions ficking can be stopped and the children involved best are based on accurate information, taking the children’s supported in getting on with the rest of their lives. There hopes and fears into account. is no shortage of laws and guidelines at both international level and in individual countries indicating what ought to be Not surprisingly, both governments and others look for done, but the reality of what is being done is usually very straightforward and relatively mechanical techniques for different. This chapter, together with Chapters 8 and 10, stopping trafficking. Rather than reviewing each child’s sets out the principles that are supposed to guide case to assess its specific implications from a child rights action taken against child trafficking by governments and perspective, they would prefer blanket solutions, such as their statutory agencies and also by other organisations. prohibiting children below a certain age from migrating Chapter 9 focuses on who the different agencies and to work abroad (a technique tried in Mali), or making an organisations are and their respective roles. As by assumption than every unaccompanied minor is either an definition trafficking involves children being moved, the illegal immigrant or has been trafficked. While policies challenge facing any agency which wishes to tackle child are evidently needed which can be applied to all children, trafficking is one of coordination with others. if they do not take account of the huge variations which Consequently, Chapter 9 describes some of the obstacles occur in reality, they are likely to harm children. to good coordination and possible ways around them. Subsequent chapters describe different methods used to Similarly, because child trafficking is intertwined with prevent child trafficking or protect the children involved. both the trafficking of adults and irregular migration, the strategies to tackle it have often been developed by Because so many different factors are involved in child people who do not have children specifically in mind. trafficking, there are many different opportunities when Once again, these may be hostile to children’s best action can be taken to prevent trafficking or to protect interests. As there is virtual unanimity at international children who have been trafficked. These are summarised level on the principles which should underpin any action in Diagram 6. The phase of the trafficking cycle at which concerning children and consequently be the base of all it is most opportune to try and intervene and the right actions on child trafficking taken by a government or any form of intervention are bound to vary according to of its agencies, and also by other organisations. Here is a specific circumstances. The next few chapters are in- summary of the key principles. tended to give some guidance about strategies that have proved successful in particular circumstances. The international community’s ‘Magna Carta’ for children is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)33, rati- Whichever part of the trafficking cycle NGOs try to fied by every country except two (Somalia and the US). It influence, they have one special advantage over govern- addresses the full range of children’s rights, guaranteeing ment agencies, whether police or other statutory agencies: these to everyone under 18. One article focuses on traf- NGOs can potentially team up quite easily with others. ficking: Article 35 requires the governments of countries It may take time to work out where the route comes ratifying the Convention to: from or goes to and what other organisations are avail- able and where, but, once this is clear, NGOs have the “take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures potential (some would say the duty) to join hands with to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any organisations elsewhere along a trafficking route in order purpose or in any form.” to double their effectiveness. The best way of finding out about the predicament of trafficked children is to carry The Convention also requires governments to take action out parallel investigations in both the area they come from to protect children against both economic exploitation and the area they are trafficked to, and possibly in bet- (defined in Article 32 as “any work that is likely to be haz- ween as well. Without information acquired in the places ardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be where trafficked children come from, those investigating harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, the appalling exploitation that children are subjected to moral or social development”) and sexual exploitation and can speculate fruitlessly about the precise circumstances sexual abuse (in particular, according to Article 34, “the in which children have left home and about why children exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlaw- migrate and expose themselves to harm. If NGOs have ful sexual practices”). a duty due to their particular strengths, it is to follow the trafficking chain and to situate themselves as close as pos- sible to children who are victims of trafficking, so that Kids as Commodities? 38 Terre des Hommes
  • 39. The Convention guarantees a series of other rights which are routinely violated when children are traf- Provisions of the ficked. However, it is a different category of rights Convention on the which are important when it comes to determining how trafficked children should be treated once they are Rights of the Child gov- rescued or leave the clutches of their traffickers. These erning all decisions are a set of rights intended to influence the way that the authorities themselves behave towards children about abused children and the procedures they follow in deciding what to do with a child who they suspect to have been trafficked. When it comes to deciding how children who have been trafficked should be treated, the Convention contains Unfortunately these rights are conspicuously absent in three general provisions which are vital - but routinely the way that most countries treat trafficked children. disregarded by government agencies everywhere. The problem is that, 15 years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted, many police forces, Article 3 states: prosecutors, judges and civil servants still have little “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by idea what the obligation contained in its Article 3 (to public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, make the best interests of a child ‘a primary administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” consideration’ in the decisions they take about children) actually means for them. Article 12 of the Convention gives children a right to voice their opinions and have their views taken into account Implication of trafficking as a gender issue in matters affecting them, in particular at any judicial or administrative proceedings. It requires that their views should be “given due weight” in accordance with their age The combination of discrimination and other cultural and maturity. This implies that a government agency may practises based on gender means that girls are more not decide to place a child in a detention or transit centre, available than boys to be trafficked, as well as being yet alone deport her or him, without consulting the child and taking her or his views into account. in greater demand. Human trafficking is consequently a major gender issue, whether it affects children or Finally, Article 39 concerns the ways that governments adults. Counter-trafficking strategies have to take into must help victims of abuse to recover. It specifies that account that most of the groups who they want to mo- governments must: bilise or influence to stop trafficking, such as the police “take all appropriate measures to promote physical and or the general public, hold conventional attitudes about psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child relations between the sexes and the ‘role’ that it is ap- victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture propriate for girls and women to play, even if organis- or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment … in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect ations developing the strategies perceive these attitudes and dignity of the child.” as part of the problem and aim to change them. Kids as Commodities? 39 Terre des Hommes
  • 40. PREVENTION STRATEGIES PREVENTION STRATEGIES addressing Child is in a non- demand exploitative situation, i.e. trafficking has not occurred Child’s or Decision Facilitating Child is being Demand family’s makers / hindering exploited (i.e. motives for factors factors has been child leaving trafficked) Commercial Traffickers’ sexual profits exploitation Basic needs Child herself Socio- (poverty / himself cultural related) practices (discrimin- ation against Child moves: Adoption Couples girls) migrates or is seeking baby trafficked to adopt Desire for Parents/ Conflict/ increased close disaster Marriage Employers of income relatives children Begging/ illicit Consumers of Social con- Community Law activities services (e.g. siderations leaders enforcement sex industry) (dowry) (lack of it)/ or products corruption made by trafficked Other «worst children forms of child labour» Emotional Recruiter/ stability trafficker (domestic abuse) Diagram 6 Differing factors at work in child None (child trafficking abducted) PROTECTION PROTECTION – and different STRATEGIES STRATEGIES opportunities to (Interception while – rescue from intervene (based on diagrams developed child is in transit) exploitation by the Bangladesh Thematic Group) Kids as Commodities? 40 Terre des Hommes
  • 41. Chapter 8 Standards at the international level for responding to child trafficking T his chapter starts by describing the provisions of international treaties dealing with human trafficking and the ex- ploitation to which trafficked children are subjected. This is followed by a review of the guidelines that have been issued within the UN on the way that trafficked children should be treated. THE DEFINITION OF TRAFFICKING IN INTERNATIONAL LAW In order to clarify exactly what constit- utes trafficking and to intensify inter- national efforts to stop trafficking, in November 2000 the UN General Assembly adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (referred to here as the ‘Trafficking Protocol’ but also known as the ‘Palermo Protocol’, after the place where governments signed it).34 The Protocol is directly linked to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. At the same time the UN also adopted a Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, making a distinction between migrants who are helped to cross frontiers illegally (i.e. smuggled), and others who are trapped in some form of exploitation as a result, usually after being coerced or tricked. The Trafficking Protocol provides the first clear definition of ‘trafficking in persons’ in international law. However, it was not drawn up specifically with young people under 18 in mind. 35 Its definition was developed primarily to determine which adults being moved across frontiers by criminals should be viewed as victims of trafficking, and therefore given some assistance, rather than as irregular migrants or, as govern- ments label them, illegal immigrants, who are routinely expelled. As a Proto- col linked to a convention about transnational crime, the definition technically applies only to cross-border trafficking and to cases involving an Child rag-picker in Southeast Asia organised criminal group, defined in the Convention as “a structured group of three or more persons”. As many children are trafficked by just one or two people, this could be interpreted to imply that such children are not victims of traffick- Kids as Commodities? 41 Terre des Hommes
  • 42. ing. This would be nonsense. The definition represents a What the Trafficking Protocol requires recent international consensus on what human trafficking governments to do involves. Consequently it can be used to gauge whether specific cases constitute trafficking or not, even if a child The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime came is trafficked by only one person rather than a gang, or into force in September 2003 and the Trafficking Proto- from one part of a country to somewhere else within the col itself on 26 December 2003, after it was ratified by same country, rather than across a border. 40 countries, the minimum number needed. The States that ratify it commit themselves to taking action to pun- This definition needs some further explanation to clarify ish traffickers, prevent trafficking and protect victims of its implications. As far as adults aged 18 and over are con- trafficking. While it is clear on what constitutes an offence cerned, it requires three different elements to be present and how governments should cooperate to catch traf- for a case to be identified as trafficking: fickers, the Trafficking Protocol is much vaguer when it comes to providing protection to children (or adults) who • their recruitment by an intermediary of some sort have been trafficked. This is because it is a convention (or their “transportation, transfer, harbouring or designed to stop a particular category of transnational receipt”); crime, rather than one designed to protect the rights of the victims of such crimes. • the use of abusive means of control, (“the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion ...” etc.); When it comes to deciding what to do with adults or chil- dren who have been trafficked from abroad – in particu- • their subsequent exploitation – or an intention to lar whether they should be sent home - the Trafficking exploit them – in some specific ways, such as the Protocol requires the authorities of a country to consider exploitation of the prostitution of others, other forms measures “that permit victims of trafficking in persons to of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery remain in its territory, temporarily or permanently …”. It or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal also sets out the steps that States should take to facilitate of organs). the repatriation of trafficking victims “without undue delay”, but fails to suggest that repatriation might only be In the case of children, however, the Trafficking Proto- col says that it is not necessary for a child to have been coerced or deceived for the case to amount to trafficking. It is sufficient to know that a young person under 18 has The definition of been recruited and moved somewhere away from home to be exploited in these specific ways for the child concerned ‘trafficking in persons’ to be regarded as a victim of trafficking. It is this aspect of Article 3 of the UN Trafficking Protocol says that: the Protocol that governments appear most unwilling to enact in national legislation, as Chapter 9 will show. (a) “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms To complicate things, however, the list of forms of of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the exploitation in the Trafficking Protocol is similar, but not abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the exactly the same, as the lists in two other international giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the treaties adopted in the previous year, one prohibiting the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, worst forms of child labour, and the other the sale of at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others children. or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or The definition of trafficking in the Trafficking Protocol the removal of organs; is wide reaching when it comes to children, implying (b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the that all cases in which children are recruited and moved intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this away from home so that they can be exploited are cases article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth of trafficking. However, the Trafficking Protocol makes in subparagraph (a) have been used; no reference to trafficking for adoption (although several (c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring regional conventions do). This omission does not need to or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall prevent NGOs from using the term ‘trafficking’ to refer be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not to cases of adoption that involve the sale of babies or involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article; other violations of the international convention governing intercountry adoptions (which is described in the section (d) “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of on ‘Commercial adoption’ below). age. Kids as Commodities? 42 Terre des Hommes
  • 43. appropriate if it is voluntary. 46 States had ratified or acceded to it. The Convention does not describe any forms of adoption as ‘trafficking’, Forms of exploitation linked to child but contains a clear requirement that “No one shall derive trafficking improper financial or other gain from activity related to intercountry adoption” (Article 32.1). Most forms of exploitation mentioned in the Trafficking Protocol have been defined in other international conven- While the text of the Convention does not define exactly tions. The word ‘exploitation’ is used to refer to situations what is “improper financial or other gain”, the Special that are prohibited as an abuse of human rights, not in the Commission that paved its way had noted that “lawyers, classic Marxist sense of referring to all situations in which notaries, public servants, even judges and university an employer makes a profit on an employee’s work. professors, have either requested or accepted excessive amounts of money or lavish gifts from prospective The ‘removal of organs’ refers to cases of organ transplant adoptive parents”.37 involving living donors who are paid money (or whose relative takes money on their behalf) in return for donat- Organ trafficking ing an organ such as a kidney to another patient. The World Health Assembly adopted guidelines in 1991 There is a considerable overlap between the forms of establishing international standards in relation to organ exploitation mentioned in the Trafficking Protocol and transplants and the possibility of commercial trafficking. those banned in two other international treaties adopted The guidelines prohibit trafficking in human organs for shortly beforehand. The ILO’s Convention No. 182 concer- commercial gain. ning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, adopted in 1999, identifies Regional conventions on child trafficking four ‘worst forms’. They include: In addition to the conventions that are truly international, • all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour; What ‘sexual exploitation’ means • the commercial sexual exploitation of children; Sexual exploitation refers to both commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution and the production of pornography) • the involvement of children in other illicit activities, and other situations. The “exploitation of the prostitution of such as drug trafficking; others” refers to cases in which a pimp or exploiter takes all or part of the money that a client pays to a prostitute for an act of sex. The age of a child involved – whether • employing anyone aged under 18 in work which is they have reached the age of sexual maturity or an age likely to harm their “health, safety or morals”. where consensual sex is allowed in the country concerned – is irrelevant in assessing whether a person under 18 has been trafficked or not, as is the question of whether Shortly afterwards, in May 2000, the UN General As- an under-18-year-old has given her or his consent, for sembly adopted the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, example, to becoming a sex worker. Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, supplementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Without using the term Other forms of “sexual exploitation” are not defined so clearly. They include certain types of marriage: when girls ‘trafficking’, this requires States ratifying it to prohibit under 18 are recruited and told they will be given jobs, but forms of abuse associated with trafficking, whether they then handed over to be forcibly married to a man. As the are “committed domestically or transnationally or on an immigration services of various countries where women individual or organized basis”. The forms of abuse to be have been trafficked have imposed tighter restrictions to prevent foreign women from entering their countries to earn prohibited include “improperly inducing consent, as an money as sex workers, so marriage has also been used intermediary, for the adoption of a child in violation of by pimps to secure a residence permit for girls who have applicable international legal instruments on adoption”. subsequently been prostituted to earn money for them. Marriage brokering is regarded as perfectly legitimate in Commercial adoption – many societies, so the precise circumstances in which the involving ‘improper gain’ involvement of an intermediary in arranging a marriage amounts to trafficking are still unclear. An intermediary The main international agreement designed to regulate in- who deceives a teenage Vietnamese girl into thinking she is being taken to work in China and then delivers her tercountry adoption is The Hague Convention on the Protection for a forced marriage is clearly a trafficker. However, of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption it is less clear whether the managers of an internet site (Hague Convention No. 33).36 It was adopted in May 1993 containing the photos of 17-year-old Russian girls who by The Hague Conference on Private International Law have themselves decided to seek foreign husbands come into the same category and entered into force two years later. By September 2003, Kids as Commodities? 43 Terre des Hommes
  • 44. several inter-governmental organisations representing particular continents or regions have adopted their own What ‘forced labour’ conventions and declarations on human trafficking. In the and ‘debt bondage’ cases of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Organization for African Unity (OAU), the precursor mean of today’s African Union, the provisions are important “Forced labour or services” is a reference to an ILO because they cover intercountry adoption as well as other Convention (No. 29) adopted in 1930 to prohibit forced forms of child trafficking labour, whatever types of force are used or threatened. “Slavery or practices similar to slavery” and “servitude” refer to similar situations involving coercion. The UN’s The OAS Inter-American Convention on International Traffic in Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, Minors was adopted in March 1994 and entered into force the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery (1956) prohibits various forms of ‘servile status’, in 1997. It defines international traffic in minors to in- notably debt bondage (also known as bonded labour), the clude “the abduction, removal or retention, or attempted practice of requiring someone to work to pay off a loan abduction, removal or retention, of a minor for unlawful – when the value of their work greatly exceeds the value of purposes or by unlawful means”. By considering all cases the original loan. As migrant children or their families often seek a loan to finance their trip, this is a very common form that involve “unlawful purposes” or “unlawful means” to of restriction imposed on people who are trafficked. Many be trafficking, this Convention clearly covers trafficking trafficked children are told by their exploiters that they must for adoption, where the aim may be legal but the means continue working until they have paid off a debt which is are fraudulent. However, so far the Convention has been said to have been incurred to whoever paid the costs of transporting them in the first place. In other cases, the signed or ratified by only 12 of the OAS’ 34 Member parents of a child leaving home to work accept a payment States and not by either Canada or the US, the main coun- for the child’s wages in advance, and it is this advance that tries in the OAS region receiving children for adoption, ‘bonds’ the child to his or her employer. nor by many of the countries supplying children, such as The practice of bonded child labour is particularly common El Salvador and Guatemala. in South Asians countries, where there is little distinction between trafficking as now defined by the UN Trafficking The OAU’s African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Protocol and the recruitment of bonded children who are Child, adopted in 1990, deals with trafficking for both ex- working away from home. The term ‘trafficking’ is still used in South Asia to refer primarily to cases of commercial ploitation and adoption. Article 24, dealing with adoption, sexual exploitation. requires governments to “take all appropriate measures to ensure that in inter-country adoption, the placement does not result in trafficking or improper financial gain for those who try to adopt a child”. Article 29 requires gov- asylum, they set out a set of basic procedures to be ernments to prevent children from being victims of “Sale, followed in the cases of all unaccompanied children who Trafficking and Abduction” and also to prevent “the use come into the custody of law enforcement or other of children in all forms of begging”. government agencies in a country other than their own and set a minimum standard by which children believed INTERNATIONAL GUIDELINES ON HOW to have been trafficked should be treated. They cover TRAFFICKED CHILDREN SHOULD BE issues such as identification, registration and document- TREATED ation, appointment of a guardian or adviser, initial inter- views, age assessment, interviewers, interpreters, The international conventions and protocols mentioned consultation, confidentiality, tracking and keeping so far in this chapter focus mainly on what should not hap- statistics in considerable detail. They also suggest how the pen and what activities should constitute a crime in dom- authorities should respond when children are estic law, but pay little attention to the rights that child- accompanied by an adult who is not their parent. On the ren (or adults) have once they have been trafficked. In question of assessing a person’s age and deciding whether contrast, a great deal of attention has been paid by several to consider them under 18 years old, the Guidelines UN agencies to the techniques and procedures necessary suggest that “The child should be given the benefit of the to ensure that the rights of children who find themselves doubt if the exact age is uncertain” … “The guiding alone in a foreign country are respected, both trafficked principle is whether an individual demonstrates an children and unaccompanied minors more generally. ‘immaturity’ and vulnerability that may require more sensitive treatment”. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Guidelines UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Recommendations and Guidelines on Human The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is- Trafficking sued a set of Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum in 1997. While these In May 2002 the UN High Commissioner for Human focus especially on under-18-year-olds seeking Rights issued a set of Recommended Principles and Guidelines Kids as Commodities? 44 Terre des Hommes
  • 45. on Human Rights and Human Trafficking.38 These apply to trafficked children. These were drafted with respect to both adults and children who are trafficked. Most of the children trafficked in Southeast Europe and formally 17 Principles recommended by the High Commissioner approved in April 2003 by an inter-governmental apply as much to children as to adults. They stress that organisation focusing on Southeast Europe, the Stability “the human rights of trafficked persons” should be “at Pact Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings. While the centre of all efforts to prevent and combat traffick- prepared with Southeast Europe in mind, the Guidelines ing, and to protect, assist and provide redress to victims” themselves are of universal relevance. They cover 11 (Principle 1). They point out that care must be taken issues in considerable detail: to ensure that anti-trafficking measures do not have an adverse effect on the human rights and dignity of either 1. identification; trafficking victims, or of other migrants, internally dis- placed persons, refugees or asylum-seekers. 2. appointing a guardian for each trafficked child; Two of the Principles concern the action that govern- ments must take once children or adults are suspected 3. questioning by the authorities; of being trafficking victims. These provisions are rarely implemented at the moment. Principle 7 stresses that a 4. referral to appropriate services and inter- person who has been trafficked should not be detained, agency coordination; charged or prosecuted for the illegality of their entry or residence in a country of transit or destination, or “for 5. interim care and protection; their involvement in unlawful activities to the extent that such involvement is a direct consequence of their 6. regularisation of a child’s status in a country situation as trafficked persons”. Principle 11 concerns other than their own; the possible repatriation of adults or children who have been trafficked, stressing that their return to their 7. case assessment and identification of what is country of origin must be safe and, if possible, voluntary. called a ‘durable solution’; It stresses that if repatriation might pose a serious risk to them or their families (for example, if a trafficked child 8. implementing a durable solution, including might fall back into the hands of her or his traffickers), possible return to a child’s country of origin; they “shall be offered legal alternatives to repatriation”. 9. access for children to justice; Principle 10 focuses on children, insisting that “Their best interests shall be considered paramount at all times”. 10. protection of the child as a victim and poten- A more detailed Guideline spells out what this entails, tial witness; emphasising that all agencies or institutions must make the best interests of the child their primary consider- 11. and training for government and other agen- ation when deciding on what to do with a child who has cies dealing with child victims. been trafficked, whether they are “public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies.” Children who have been trafficked must “be provided with appropriate Point 2 of UNICEF’s Guidelines calls for a guardian to be physical, psychosocial, legal, educational, housing and appointed for every child who is suspected of having been health-care assistance” and efforts must be made to trafficked, in order “to accompany the child throughout protect their privacy and identity, notably “to avoid the the entire process until a durable solution in the best dissemination of information that could lead to their interests of the child has been identified and identification”. Guideline 8 also addresses situations implemented”. The Guidelines suggest the guardian in which it may not be safe or possible for children to should be present whenever police or law enforcement return home, or in their best interests to do so; in such personnel question a child victim about their trafficking cases governments and others are required to make experience.39 “adequate care arrangements that respect the rights and dignity of the trafficked child”. UNICEF’s Guidelines for Protection of the Rights of Children Victims of Trafficking The UN’s specialist agency for children, UNICEF, has developed a set of Guidelines for Protection of the Rights of Children Victims of Trafficking concerned specifically with Kids as Commodities? 45 Terre des Hommes
  • 46. How intercountry adoption should occur This study does not go into detail on ‘good practice’ as far as intercountry adoption is concerned. A report issued by UNICEF’s Innocenti Centre in 1999 is clear on what ought to happen: “A child’s eligibility for intercountry adoption should be decided upon by the competent authorities of the State where the child habitually resides (the ‘country of origin’). The procedure should be carried out by the authorities themselves or ‘accredited’ nonprofit professional bodies, not by other intermediaries. Strict regulations and procedures to protect those children’s rights and interests are vital; prospective adoptive parents, in particular, must be helped to understand this and be warned against trying adopt without due regard for them.” Residence status and possible repatriation The UNICEF Guidelines require the Ministry of Interior or other equivalent authority to ensure that child victims who are not nationals or resident in the country to be issued automatically with a ‘Temporary Humanitarian Visa’. This ensures that the child has a valid legal status while a durable solution is found for them. Point 8 concerns the ‘implementation of a durable solution’, including both local integration, return to country of origin, and settlement in a third country. The Guidelines specify that: Child victims shall not be returned to their country of origin if, following a risk and security assessment, there are reasons to believe that the child’s safety or that of their family is in danger. This implies that a risk and security assessment should be carried out in every case. As trafficked children continue to be deported with alarming frequency, with few or no arrangements to receive the child concerned, Point 8 of the Guidelines stresses that: Ministries of Interior or other relevant state authorities shall establish agreements and procedures for the safe return of child victims to their country of origin. Kids as Commodities? 46 Terre des Hommes
  • 47. Chapter 9 Actors involved in stopping child trafficking and assisting children H uman trafficking is a pattern of abuse that no single agency can solve by itself, especially when children are traf- ficked across borders and two or more countries are involved. Even organisations which operate throughout a country, such as a national police force, usually lack the right expertise to take on all the types of work required at both ends of a trafficking chain, such as both prevention and providing care to children recovered from traffickers. Con- sequently, out of necessity counter-trafficking work involves several different organisations and requires coordination with others. A few transnational NGOs have established a presence at both ends of a trafficking chain (such as Casa Alianza, operating in several Central American countries) and some have initiated prosec- utions of traffickers. This serves to underline the need for other agencies to be involved, both to provide adequate geographical cover- age and to perform differ- ent functions. This chapter summarises the roles of the different organisations in- volved in counter-trafficking operations and then looks at the challenge of getting them to Albanian boy washing a car windscreen in Greece work together. NGOs and civil society NGOs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. At international level they include child rights organisations such as Save the Children and Terre des Hommes; NGOs focusing NGOs undertake a wide on a specific issue with branches around the world, such as ECPAT; and transnational range of activities to prevent NGOs operating throughout a particular region, such as Casa Alianza. At national child trafficking and to assist level they include local NGOs, some connected to international ones and others child victims. Later chapters autonomous, some focusing exclusively on child trafficking, but most dealing with give examples of these activi- other issues as well, such as child labour or other forms of child abuse, human traf- ties. In theory, the one activi- ficking, or violence against women in all its forms, of which trafficking in women ty they cannot organise is the and girls is just one. Some have religious motives, others are secular. They start out prosecution and punishment with very diverse ideas about what needs to be achieved and how to go about it, with of traffickers, although some some emphasising the need to ‘save and rescue’ children and others giving priority NGOs accompany branches to helping children stand up for their own rights. Consequently, clear statements of of the security forces on what minimum standards need to be achieved by NGOs and other agencies, such as raids to release children UNICEF’s Guidelines for Protection of the Rights of Children Victims of Trafficking, are and, when law enforcement important in providing a common reference point. agencies have failed to take action, some refer individual A few NGOs concentrate uniquely on public campaigning and lobbying politicians cases to regional or interna- for changes in the law or government policy. On the whole, it seems to be difficult to tional organisations in order perform a useful ‘advocacy’ role (campaigning to stop trafficking and publicising the to oblige the authorities to harm done to children) without having direct experience of practical work or take action. Kids as Commodities? 47 Terre des Hommes
  • 48. substantial information about it. On too many occasions likely consequences of testifying.41 As the UNICEF counter trafficking measures which seem a good idea in Guidelines suggest, it also requires someone to represent theory do not work out in practice; this is vital to take into the best interests of a child about whom official decisions account in advocacy work. are being made. Law enforcement agencies Other statutory bodies Most government strategies to respond to human traf- In addition to law enforcement agencies, a range of other ficking focus on prosecuting traffickers and assuming that agencies set up by government (referred to here as long sentences of imprisonment will deter others. This ‘statutory bodies’) play a role in preventing trafficking, approach has been encouraged by the recent UN Traffick- assisting victims of trafficking and liaising between ing Protocol, intended to facilitate prosecutions, and by agencies. Statutory bodies responsible for residential care follow-up regional measures, such as the EU’s Framework for children are important when it comes to ensuring the Decision of 19 July 2002 on Combating Trafficking in Human recovery of children who have been trafficked and helping Beings.40 It seems fair to note that this approach has not yet them get a new start. proved its effectiveness. Perhaps, as numerous countries have only just adopted new legislation on human traffick- In recent years it has been something of a scandal that ing, it may prove more effective in the future than it has residential centres in EU countries run or financed by so far. their governments have ‘lost’ foreign children who were placed in their care – children stopped by immigration In order to have any chance of success, prosecution-based officials because they were unaccompanied or who were strategies have to be based on sensibly worded legislation picked up by the police and believed to have been traf- and well trained police and prosecution teams specialising ficked or to be illegal immigrants. Because in most cases on trafficking. Prosecutions only succeed if strong enough the centres do not prevent child residents from leaving, evidence is available to secure a conviction. Evidence a significant proportion of children sent to such centres often consists of statements made by the children or have simply walked out. While this could mean that the adults who have been trafficked and who, by providing young people concerned feel they have had enough of evidence, expose themselves and their relatives to a risk institutional care, observers have expressed concern that of reprisals (from their traffickers or their accomplices). many such children have ‘disappeared’ and their Reprisals are sometimes reported far away from the court subsequent fate is not known; consequently they may have room, in a different country altogether, making it difficult ended up in abusive situations. In some cases traffickers for a single police force to provide protection. are known to have been manipulating immigration pro- cedures; cases have been documented in which they pro- The risk of reprisals means that prosecutions of traffickers grammed the children under their control to walk out of a should ideally not involve children having to give evid- residential centre after a number of days or weeks to meet ence. Some police forces have units specialising on child- up with their traffickers. There is a worrying, unanswered ren, either as victims or as perpetrators of crime, which question about what has happened to the others. are more likely to use child friendly methods than ordinary police units and whose members are consequent- The numbers of children involved are significant. For ex- ly better qualified to interview children who have been ample, in the case of a special school in Athens (Greece) trafficked and to assess whether their statements should which takes in unaccompanied children referred there by a be used as evidence. Witness protection schemes have Public Prosecutor, between November 1998 and October been developed in relatively few countries to protect traf- 2001, out of the 644 children arriving there (543 of whom ficked adults and children willing to testify. People who were from neighbouring Albania), 487 subsequently disap- have been trafficked from another country mostly have peared (75 per cent).42 no legal entitlement to be in the country where they have been exploited or to remain there. Only those who are Governments have for many years been urged by interna- willing to testify are allowed to remain in order to give tional bodies, such as the UN’s Commission on Human evidence. Needless to say, if they are subsequently Rights, to appoint a single authority as a coordinator required to leave the country where they have helped the of their counter-trafficking activities, on the grounds prosecution, they may well face reprisals when they arrive that different law enforcement and social service agen- home. This seems a completely unacceptable risk to take cies potentially take action in an uncoordinated or even with children. It is clear that the ‘best interests’ provision contradictory way. Several countries have recently set up requires the authorities to take the possible consequences special counter-trafficking offices. Some are the result of of a child testifying into account (including the a decision to centralise counter-trafficking activities, such consequences of traffickers suspecting wrongly that a as Nigeria’s National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in child has testified against them) and to ensure that the Persons and Other Related Matters, set up by a July 2003 child and her or his relatives are protected against the law. Others, as in the Netherlands, have been established Kids as Commodities? 48 Terre des Hommes
  • 49. to monitor counter-trafficking efforts by a range of coordinating them. The lack of coordination between government agencies and to identify obstacles to efforts agencies at international level almost certainly has a to stop trafficking. detrimental effect on children. When a pattern of human trafficking was reported in the There are exceptions, notably in Southeast Asia and first half of the 1990s in China’s Yunnan Province, Southeast Europe. In the Asia case, the UN Inter-Agency bordering on Burma (Myanmar), a special Office for Project (UNIAP) on Human Trafficking in the Greater Combating the Trafficking in Women and Children in Mekong Sub-Region coordinates initiatives in six Yunnan was established in response, with a local branch countries, involving 13 different organisations linked to in each of the province’s 17 prefectures. The Office is the UN, one other international organisation (the IOM) credited with helping other branches of the security forces and eight international NGOs.44 In the Europe case, the understand what human trafficking consisted of and how Stability Pact (for Southeast Europe) Task Force on Traf- to stop it. By the late 1990s, the scale of trafficking had ficking in Human Beings was set up under the auspices of reportedly declined and the Office returned the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe responsibility for counter-trafficking to ordinary law (OSCE). The Task Force’s web-site explains that it “is not enforcement units.43 an international organisation or institution, hence not in competition with IOs [International Organisations] and Inter-governmental organisations bilateral project assistance”.45 A large number of inter-governmental organisations Elsewhere complications due to the multiplicity of are running counter-trafficking programmes. These are inter-governmental organisations involved have not yet usually financed bilaterally by one or more governments. been resolved. Some focus on teenage girls and adult women together, rather than just on children, on the grounds that women Even more startling is the fact that no UN agency has and girls aged between 15 and 25 constitute the majority responsibility for detecting that a pattern of trafficking of those trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. is occurring or for initiating counter-trafficking activities Some deal with all adults and children and a few focus in response. This has been particularly tragic when it has specifically on under 18-year-olds (mainly UNICEF and been UN forces, or international personnel linked to in- ILO-IPEC). Some work in a specific geographic area ter-governmental organisations, whose presence in where trafficking is considered to be a major problem: conflict or post-conflict situations has created a demand UNIFEM, the UN Development Fund for Women, has for commercial sex and thereby encouraged the trafficking been running a South Asian Regional Anti-Trafficking of women and teenage girls. Programme since 2000, providing support to NGOs and other agencies. Despite the lack of coordination, international initiatives have brought about progress and ensure that the response Alongside the UN’s numerous agencies, the IOM from governments begins to be based on UN guidelines, (International Organization for Migration), which is not rather than on the anti-immigrant sentiments which shape part of the UN, has achieved a high profile for its most government’s initial reactions to reports of human counter-trafficking activities in several regions, although it trafficking. does not usually focus especially on children. It is involved in designing large-scale campaigns to inform The international organisation established to ensure potential migrants of the risks of being trafficked, cooperation between national police forces, INTERPOL, managing shelters for victims and organising the has its own best practice manual (not disseminated voluntary repatriation of people who have been trafficked. publicly) on action it is appropriate to take in trafficking In Europe the IOM has played a lead role in focusing cases. This reportedly emphasises that considerations attention on unaccompanied minors and published a about the safety of trafficking victims should be study on Trafficking in unaccompanied minors for sexual paramount in all decisions concerning operations by a exploitation in the European Union in 2001. police force against trafficking. While recognising the need for different law enforcement agencies to be involved Counter-trafficking programmes run by inter-governmen- within a single country, the manual also reinforces the tal organisations are relatively autonomous: no single UN message that effective coordination is vital and is best agency manages the UN’s counter-trafficking activities or secured by giving one agency a coordinating role. has responsibility for ensuring that appropriate action is taken when a pattern of trafficking is detected, or to check Keeping the UN informed about child that UN agencies have an efficient division of labour, trafficking rather than duplicating particular activities or competing against one another. It is as if too many organisations had The UN’s Commission on Human Rights, where govern- a mandate to work on human trafficking, without anyone ment representatives meet once a year to review Kids as Commodities? 49 Terre des Hommes
  • 50. information about human rights abuse, acts as a formal involving counter-traffickers in the zones where children channel for information about human rights violations are recruited and exploited and, if possible, in between. to be presented to the UN, mainly by NGOs with formal While government departments and law enforcement status at the UN. The Commission has appointed agencies find this difficult, representatives of civil society individual experts, known as Special Rapporteurs, to in the various countries along a trafficking route can link collect information on particular human rights violation or up more easily. The twinning of NGOs operating in areas problems in a specific country. Some are mandated to take of recruitment and exploitation cannot achieve the same action to investigate and try to stop human rights abuse. as two police forces cooperating, but it can deliver many Two of the Commission’s thematic Special Rapporteurs other benefits. The same principal applies when children have reported on child trafficking in their annual reports are trafficked within their own country. to the Commission, although neither of them has dealt with the subject in its totality. In West Africa, a network of NGOs concerned about child trafficking has developed over the past six years. In 1990 the Commission appointed a Special Rapporteur From 1996 onwards WAO-Afrique, based in Togo, was to focus on the sale of children, child prostitution and aware that a substantial number of Togolese children child pornography, including “the adoption of children were being taken to work in Gabon. While WAO-Afrique for commercial purposes”. Three different individuals soon succeeded in making contact with organisations in have been in the post so far. Since his appointment in neighbouring countries where children were also being 2001, the third person in the post, Juan Miguel Petit, has recruited to work abroad, such as Bénin, Burkina Faso emphasised the significance of all forms of exploitation and Mali, it proved more difficult to find partners in the and refers in a fact sheet about his role to the definition of countries where their children were being taken to work: ‘sale of children’ in the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and Nigeria. As in other parts of child prostitution and child pornography to the Convention on the the world, NGOs were more concerned about what was Rights of the Child (“any act or transaction whereby a child happening to their own children than to children from is transferred by any person or group of persons to other countries. In Gabon the rescue and repatriation of another for remuneration or any other consideration”). trafficked children was undertaken by Béninois and Togolese expatriates living in Libreville, who set up an He has pointed out that this could be for purposes of NGO called ILEDA. First the NGOs in different commercial sexual exploitation, use in criminal activities, countries shared information about what was going on begging, use in armed conflict, sports, forced labour, and on techniques for finding out about trafficking. Then adoption, marriage, use of their organs, or other they passed information to each other when trafficked purposes.46 children were due to be repatriated and finally they became involved in repatriation operations. A different Special Rapporteur, dealing with violence against women, focused her report in 2000 on the topic The biggest impediment to this sort of transnational of human trafficking but explained that she was confin- co-operation is when there are no NGOs present in the ing her report to the predicament of adult women on the areas where trafficked children are taken, or a lack of in- grounds that “the phenomenon of trafficking in children terest by child rights organisations there in the needs different, child-specific remedies that are likewise predicament of foreign children. This has proved to be a gender-specific.”47 particular obstacle to protecting trafficked children in the Gulf States. Ensuring that different organisations work together NGOs working together in their own country When trafficking involves frontiers being crossed, the The advantages of NGOs based in the same country and authorities of individual countries cannot tackle the with common concerns working together are obvious: problem alone and must cooperate. While cooperation a united front to lobby the government or government between governments is often difficult to engineer, even agencies for changes in policy or practice and a forum for when inter-governmental organisations act as exchanging information and identifying gaps in what is intermediaries, it seems easier to organise at ‘non-official’ being done. When a government has no adequate level between NGOs. counter-trafficking programme, NGOs can have a strong influence if they work together. Transnational NGO networks In Albania, this involved setting up së Bashku Kundër Traffickers take advantage of the lack of cross-border Trafikimit të Fëmijëve (BKTF), All Together against Child police cooperation; they use distance and national Trafficking, a coalition of six NGOs when it started in differences to their advantage. The only way of combat- late 2001 and nine by the end of 2003. BKTF set up an ting them is to set up parallel networks to their own, advisory board with representatives from UNICEF, IOM, Kids as Commodities? 50 Terre des Hommes
  • 51. ILO-IPEC and a representative of the inter-ministerial Cooperation with the authorities in criminal group against the trafficking of human beings. The investigations coalition began by organising a meeting of NGOs with two government ministries (Public Order and Social NGOs running shelters or transit facilities for trafficked Affairs) on the issue of child trafficking. When the children potentially face a dilemma in deciding how much government drafted a new strategy in 2003 for dealing to cooperate (or to advise a child in their care to with child trafficking, BKTF coordinated a response cooperate) with police investigations and prosecutions. within a few days. They have a choice between being perceived as police informers, or asserting their independence and being Law enforcement working with NGOs criticised by the authorities for not cooperating properly. It is clear that an NGO’s role as an advocate for children Even in countries with a tradition of NGOs wielding is incompatible with giving uncritical support to a govern- influence, government agencies sometimes baulk at ment strategy of prosecuting traffickers: the NGO should developing a relationship with an NGO, especially when place the child’s best interests in front of other consid- it comes to policing matters. However, a great deal can be erations, even if this means advising a child not to give achieved informally, especially once trust has been built evidence and thereby allowing a child trafficker to escape up on both sides and officials in charge of law with impunity. enforcement agencies recognise that an NGO has useful expertise on child trafficking. However, the relationship It can be difficult to find the right balance. NGOs that between government agencies and NGOs is inevitably an are aware of individual children at high risk of being unequal one, with the police and others able to choose trafficked, for example, can usually find ways of ensur- when and how they share information or refer individual ing the police are informed without providing them with children’s cases to an NGO. Consequently it is information directly. This tactic has the added advantage preferable to proceed on the basis of a formal of helping protect NGO workers against reprisals from Memorandum of Understanding, to clarify what each side traffickers. can expect of the other. NGOs working with inter-governmental or- In theory there is an ‘ideal’ level to reach when NGOs ganisations and other governments work together with the authorities, usually involving regu- lar coordination meetings at national level, for example NGOs work with inter-governmental organisations, both once a month, attended by the main agencies involved: as partners in a lobby to change government policy and as each law enforcement and statutory agency with a role sub-contractors in programmes on child trafficking. Work and each NGO and inter-governmental organisation. This is similarly sub-contracted by inter-governmental organi- needs to be paralleled at whatever local level is best suited sations to government departments, trade unions and for exchanging information about specific cases; in coun- others. The sub-contracting role risks being a subordinate tries where statutory agencies are involved in focusing on one in which the organisation concerned implements the cases of individual children considered to be at risk, plans devised by someone else. this might involve representatives of local government, social workers, the education authority, health services From time to time the governments of countries in and NGOs carrying out specific work on child trafficking. Europe or North America have taken a lead in financing initiatives against particular forms of exploitation or child In Thailand, the authorities have gone further than most abuse. In the early 1990s, for example, Germany focused other countries and adopted general guidelines to indicate attention and resources on child labour, financing the how they expect to react and cooperate with NGOs and ILO’s programme on child labour. In line with its others in trafficking cases. The Memorandum of Understanding traditional preference for bilateral rather than multilateral on Common Guidelines of Practices among Concerned Agencies for support, when the US made counter-trafficking Operation in case Women and Children are Victims of Human programmes a priority in 2000, it channelled support Trafficking (BE 1999) is a non-binding legal agreement through its official aid programme, USAID, to a wide signed in 1999 by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Police, range of NGOs and government agencies, rather than the Ministry of Public Welfare and various NGOs.48 It primarily through one inter-governmental organisation. stipulates that foreign children who have been trafficked Through its annual reports on the action taken by into Thailand should not be treated as illegal immigrants governments against human trafficking and via other and that any who agree to testify against their traffick- direct approaches to governments, the US has already ers can stay in Thailand and be housed in a shelter for persuaded many governments to start new its duration. It also entitles trafficked children (and adult counter-trafficking initiatives. women) to food, clothing, medical care and counselling. While some activists working against child trafficking are unhappy at the US using its power in this way, others ap- Kids as Commodities? 51 Terre des Hommes
  • 52. plaud it. The benefits when governments are persuaded to implement good quality counter-trafficking programmes are obvious. The danger, perhaps, for NGOs with relevant expertise is that their government now listens more care- fully to US government representatives than it does to experts close to home. This means NGOs must ensure that the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is aware of their views on the sort of counter-trafficking initiatives that their government should be taking, as well as any short- comings in the way government agencies currently respond. Kids as Commodities? 52 Terre des Hommes
  • 53. Chapter 10 Laws and action on child trafficking at national level T his chapter reviews how the definitions and standards adopted at international level are reflected in practice in individual countries. It starts by looking at laws to pun- a court that particular forms of exploitation or coercion have been used or were intended. This is complicated by the fact that the Trafficking Protocol’s definition of traf- ish child trafficking. It then reviews efforts to coordinate ficking focuses on the forms of control and coercion used national responses by preparing ‘plans’. It concludes with by traffickers (“threat or use of force or other forms of references to various forms of action which have been coercion”, “deception”, etc.), but then discards these as taken to stop trafficking but which actually cause preju- irrelevant in the case of under-18-year-olds. dice to the very children who they are supposed to help. In the process of amending their laws, most countries so Enacting law far (such as Italy – see Box on page 56) have not discard- ed the question of control and coercion when it comes By definition laws are enacted by sovereign states; con- to defining the offence of trafficking involving children. sequently they are usually ineffective at punishing offences Instead, they consider the involvement of children to be which involve more than one country. In the case of traf- an aggravating circumstance which increases the penalty, ficking, even countries which claim to cooperate closely, without changing the action that constitutes an offence. such as the members of the EU, have laws that vary a This approach seems to have the potential to miss out great deal from one country to another and find it difficult certain cases. to cooperate. To complicate matters further, many coun- tries have laws which are inadequate at suppressing the The question of whether children have been coerced, forms of exploitation that trafficked children suffer, let deceived or manipulated in the course of their recruitment alone their prior recruitment and movement. The are important in identifying cases of trafficking involving result is that even in countries where children are traf- older teenagers who are mature enough to work away ficked without being taken abroad and where the from home. What is important is that the forms of control difficulties of cooperation between sovereign states and coercion should be defined and assessed appropriately governments do not arise, the law has not acted as an in relation to the maturity and vulnerability of the child effective barrier to child trafficking. concerned. In the US, which started drawing up a new law against human trafficking before the UN Trafficking The law can, however, be used for much more than just Protocol had been finalised, the Justice Department’s to prosecute traffickers. In the case of babies trafficked Involuntary Servitude and Slavery Coordinator, Lou for adoption, ensuring that legal procedures for inter- DeBaca, has compared the forms of control and depend- country adoption are adequate is the first step towards ency involved in trafficking to those involved in domestic ending abusive practices. Similarly, law can be used to violence. “If the dependency switch has been turned on”, put procedures in place to ensure that trafficked children he has been quoted as saying, “the will is overborne by do not experience further abuse once they are recovered coercive forces”.49 Children also have a will of their own from traffickers. and it is reasonable to expect laws to take this into account, as well as the circumstances in which their will Getting the wording of the law right has been ‘overborne by coercive forces’. Many countries are in the process of amending their law It is important that the law should prohibit the various on human trafficking to bring it into line with the provi- activities which are components of trafficking, rather sions of the UN’s Trafficking Protocol or are introducing than requiring all of the separate activities which together an anti-trafficking law for the first time. This means it constitute trafficking to have been carried out before is a good time for counter-trafficking activists to lobby someone can be convicted. Consequently laws prohibiting for new, well formulated laws. Getting the wording right trafficking of children should spell out (or refer to other so that it punishes child trafficking properly is difficult. laws which spell out) the forms of exploitation to which Simply using the terminology that appears in international children may not be subjected, in a way that law enforce- treaties is not likely to be helpful if it remains unclear to ment officials will be able to identify and collect evidence the police or the courts exactly what actions are prohib- about. Some countries have done this after ratifying the ited. Depending on the legal system, therefore, either the ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention. The ‘worst wording of the law itself should specify what is prohib- forms’ include most types of exploitation experienced by ited or efforts must be made through jurisprudence to trafficked children. However, a comparison of national clarify what the wording of the law means in practice. It laws prohibiting these worst forms reveals a startling is important that a law should focus on actions for which variety of definitions, leaving traffickers free to exploit the evidence can be collected – so that it can be proved in differences. While recent international treaties have tried Kids as Commodities? 53 Terre des Hommes
  • 54. to ban the involvement in prostitution of anyone younger on the issue, when in fact they are failing to develop any than 18, this has been interpreted in various ways by alternative counter-trafficking policies. governments. Some have focused on the exploitation of prostitution, prohibiting anyone else profiting from an act Bangladesh is one country in which the law against of commercial sex involving an under-18-year-old, such as trafficking has been criticised for being too harsh. The a brothel owner or pimp. In a few countries the focus has Women and Children Oppression Act of 1995 (Special Provision) been on clients, with a ban on boys or men paying for sex introduced the death penalty for anyone trafficking a child with under-18-year-olds. In yet others, such as Germany, into prostitution. Five years after the new law came into the authorities regard children over the age of sexual effect, government statistics provided to the UN’s Special consent as entitled to earn money through commercial sex Rapporteur on Violence against Women by Bangladesh’s and a ban is consequently only enforced on cases involv- Ministry of Home Affairs showed that out of 7,000 cases ing children under the age of consent specified by national registered under the sections of the Act that were punish- law, such as 15 or 16. able by death or life imprisonment, only 21 had resulted in convictions. Various observers have commented that the Amendments to domestic law on human trafficking open harsh penalties have made it more difficult to bring about up other opportunities. In Switzerland Terre des Hommes prosecutions and that the introduction of the death pen- saw this as an opportunity to press for limitations on alty, instead of deterring traffickers, may have increased prosecutions of people involved in trafficking children their impunity. to be removed, such as the requirement that charges be brought within a limited time of the offence occurring. Extraterritorial jurisdiction The organisation also pressed for crimes involving the use of children to be categorised as a ‘crime against humanity’, Various countries have already made it an offence for as this categorisation did not previously exist in Swiss law residents to commit specific offences abroad. It should and, it was felt, would convey the gravity of the crimes be possible to build on this experience to punish those involved. involved in trafficking or exploiting children. In various industrialised countries adults have recently been Using prosecutions to provide compensation prosecuted for paying for sex with a child abroad. NGOs to trafficked children played a significant role in lobbying for such laws on extraterritorial offences to be adopted and have alerted Governments are usually preoccupied with punishing the authorities to specific cases. For example, together traffickers. This approach is often made a priority at the with NGOs belonging to the Child Protection Alliance expense of assisting trafficking victims who have an ur- (CPA) in the Gambia, Terre des Hommes investigated a hotel gent need for compensation and financial support to get in the Gambia which was reportedly used on a regular on with their lives. The confiscation of traffickers’ assets basis by men having sex with children. In August 2003 should be made a priority, either to pay the remun- police from the Netherlands travelled to the Gambia to eration that trafficked children had been promised but collect evidence and in October 2003 a 63-year-old man not received, or to compensate them for abuse. Italy’s was charged in the Netherlands with committing an of- August 2003 law provides for profits from trafficking to fence in the Gambia. be confiscated and the proceeds to go to a new ‘Fund for anti-trafficking measures’, which in turn is to finance The UN’s Convention against Transnational Organized Crime a pre-existing government programme of assistance for provides for States to establish extraterritorial jurisdiction victims of trafficking. The new Anti-Trafficking of Persons for trafficking-related offences, as well as allowing for the Act of 2003 signed into law in the Philippines in May 2003 extradition of suspects. However, as the government also sets up a trust fund for confiscated assets. The rules representatives who prepared the Convention were concerning the implementation of this law only came into preoccupied with catching major criminals – bosses of effect in January 2004 and provide for the establishment organised crime who plan offences committed in a coun- of an Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking which try in which they never set foot themselves - it may be includes three representatives of NGOs. some time before its provisions are used to catch and prosecute the lower ranking individuals involved in cross- Laws that are too harsh border trafficking who were mentioned in Chapter 5. It may seem a contradiction that organisations calling for Implementing the law more action against child trafficking should at the same time be concerned that some governments threaten to As an example of the impediments to securing convict- punish traffickers too severely. However, this is the case, ions, even in seemingly clear-cut cases, it is worth noting mainly because governments that have introduced severe that the Captain of the Etireno, Oghototuya Lawrence penalties, such as life imprisonment and the death penalty, Onome, and his second-in command have still not been seem to want the public to think they are taking action brought to trial. Arrested in April 2001, they were kept in Kids as Commodities? 54 Terre des Hommes
  • 55. detention for more than a year, but by the beginning of children and involving various NGOs in its preparation. 2004 had been freed on bail to await trial. This case also Most other countries in the Balkans have adopted national illustrates the difficulties in incriminating or punishing plans on human trafficking; in contrast, the EU countries those who profit from trafficking without getting directly to which many children are trafficked from countries in involved themselves. Neither the owner nor the man who Southeast Europe have not. was chartering the ship and selling tickets to passengers were charged with any offence.50 In addition to monitoring whether the activities ment- ioned in a plan are being implemented, it is also essential NGOs sometimes play a supportive role in bringing to monitor the actual impact of new measures, for this can evidence to the attention of the police. They have to be different in practice to the planners’ good intent- consider whether close collaboration with the authorities ions. Researchers investigating the ‘real world’ impact might be detrimental to their work as a whole, particularly of measures against child trafficking in Mali found that if they want to be in close contact with communities the police and others were making little or no distinction whose children are being targeted by traffickers and where between traffickers (causing harm to children) and other people resent the police. intermediaries who actually help them. Furthermore, as a result of measures to prevent trafficking, Malian migrants NGOs are placed in a particularly difficult predicament below the age of 18 are required to show a large number when the police and authorities fail to carry out the work of official documents to police and immigration officers. of detecting that children are being trafficked and arrest- In reality it is virtually unfeasible to acquire all these, so ing those responsible when they have evidence that crimes they have to resort to asking intermediaries to help them have been committed. This is occasionally the case in cross frontiers illegally or to pay bribes.51 countries from which children are trafficked, but currently seems to be a more serious problem in the countries to There are other initiatives which governments can take which trafficked children are taken, where the authorities to help stop child trafficking. In countries all around the fail to recognise that the exploitation to which trafficked world, the issue of corruption is mentioned in the same children are subjected constitutes a crime, or that traffick- breath as human trafficking. It is clear that action to halt ing is anything more than a form of illegal immigration. corruption and connivance between police or border guards (on one hand) and traffickers (on the other) is an In the case of cross-border trafficking, one option is for essential first step if trafficking is to be stopped. Indeed, an NGO to persuade the authorities in a country involved in the case of Mali, teenagers migrating to work in Côte at one or other end of the trafficking chain to open a d’Ivoire complain that harassment and extortion by police formal investigation, in the hope that their inquiries will in both Côte d’Ivoire and their own country is a serious precipitate action by the police or authorities in the other obstacle and a reason why they often have to depend on country involved. Alternatively, they can ask an NGO intermediaries who the authorities now regard as abroad to submit a complaint to the UN or ILO, in order traffickers.52 to persuade recalcitrant authorities to take proper action. Avoiding causing harm to children Agreeing other minimum standards at national level Human rights activists, police officials and others have all been dismayed at how many actions by governments that An alternative to appointing a single agency to coordinate are taken in the name of ‘stopping trafficking’ have had counter-trafficking activities is for the authorities to adopt negative effects for the very people they are supposed to a ‘national plan’ indicating who is to do what and by help. In the worst cases, politicians refer to trafficking and when. The last decade has seen the adoption of numer- the need to combat it as a justification for measures ous national plans to combat the trafficking of adults and which have quite different goals, such as expelling children and other plans to eradicate the worst forms of irregular migrants or suppressing prostitution. Here are child labour. Some are serious attempts to coordinate the three examples of ‘bad practice’. activities of different agencies and to reach specific objec- tives, while others are little more than paper exercises to 1. Blanket responses which violate human rights impress audiences abroad. Those that specify (realistic) Several countries have tried to ban girls and women of deadlines by which specific objectives are to be achieved specific ages from travelling abroad to work (such as (referred to by ILO-IPEC as ‘time-bound programmes’) Nepal) or from working in specific countries. In the case are generally more effective than open-ended lists of good of children it seems reasonable to ban children below the intentions. Albania’s 2001 Plan of Action of the National minimum age for entry into employment (in their country Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings set deadlines of origin) from going abroad to work, but unreasonable for actions between 2001 and 2004; not all were met. In to prevent them from travelling altogether. However, the late 2003, the Albanian authorities were reported to be result may simply be that teenagers who want to work preparing a strategy focusing specifically on trafficking in abroad are exposed to even more extortion than before. Kids as Commodities? 55 Terre des Hommes
  • 56. It seems unreasonable to ban older children from working abroad, but appropriate to ensure that the countries to Italy’s Law No. 228/ which they migrate have adequate safeguards in place to prevent the young people’s exploitation. 2003 Italy adopted a law to punish human trafficking in August 2. Criminalising trafficked children 2003, based on definitions of trafficking in the UN In most countries to which children are trafficked for Trafficking Protocol. This included amending Article 600 of the Penal Code on enslavement, as well as Article 601 on forms of economic exploitation, the authorities continue trafficking. The new law specifies the forms of exploitation to hold them responsible for breaking the law, even when which are punishable (“Placing or holding a person in they have only done so because others took them across conditions of slavery or servitude”) and the means that frontiers illegally or involved them in illegal activities. are prohibited, such as deception or the threat or use of violence. It covers both cross-border trafficking and The Committee on the Rights of the Child set up by the trafficking within Italy. The new law uses terminology from Convention on the Rights of the Child and other UN human the Trafficking Protocol (which Italy has not yet ratified), rights bodies have stressed that children who are victims but does not state that deception or coercion are irrelevant in the case of children. It specifies that penalties of of trafficking and sexual exploitation are to be “treated imprisonment are to be more severe if children (under-18s) as victims and not as offenders”.53 This is because some have been trafficked or exploited, rather than adults. teenagers earning money for others from commercial sex have been arrested for violating laws on prostitution and Even before 2003, Italy had been more active than other EU countries in prosecuting child traffickers. Article 600 of children trafficked across borders are routinely detained as the Penal Code had been used to punish traffickers who illegal immigrants. brought Roma children to Italy especially to beg. Italian law appears progressive as it allows suspected victims of 3. Summary deportation trafficking to remain in Italy if supported by particular NGOs. However, a ‘catch 22’ was introduced into Italian law in In many countries it remains standard practice for the 1998 which requires children suspected of having been authorities to deport foreign nationals who have no legal trafficked to have been taking part in an NGO programme status in the country, children as well as adults, and to do for more than three years by their 18th birthday: otherwise so without seeking a court order. In Greece, for example, they will be expelled on reaching 18. Many people believe that ‘acting in the child’s best interest’ means they should trafficked Albanian children have been deported under register a trafficked 16-year-old as an adult in order to an administrative procedure which circumvents (and avoid being expelled later on. By introducing complications effectively undermines) the law on trafficking. This is a like this, the law is failing children! violation of their rights. Furthermore it exposes them to the risk of falling straight back into the hands of traffick- ers, who watch how the authorities behave and respond by ensuring that someone is on hand at the frontier where trafficked children are being dumped – to take control of them again. Deportations are facilitated by ‘readmission agreements’ between two countries. The authorities of the countries signing such agreements regard them as useful, as they reduce the bureaucratic red tape involved in de- porting people. They sometime claim this is in the interest of people who have been trafficked, as it reduces the delay before they return home. In practice, readmission agree- ments seem to be favoured because they can be used to circumvent legal procedures and prevent victims of traf- ficking from exercising their rights. Kids as Commodities? 56 Terre des Hommes
  • 57. Chapter 11 Finding out the facts I nitiatives to stop child trafficking often start with pub- licity about a few known cases. Facts and figures are brought to the attention of the general public and policy still be when the investigators’ findings are publicised. Anyone collecting information about child trafficking consequently has a key responsibility not to place children makers in order to provoke a reaction. The quality of the in danger and not to reveal their identities if this could information used varies widely. As a UNESCO project fo- cause the children any prejudice. This means being wary cusing on statistics about trafficking has noted, “Traffick- about showing the ‘human face’ of trafficking victims in ing of girls and women is one of several highly emotive any genuine way, in case the face might be identified by issues which seem to overwhelm critical faculties” (see traffickers or others who could cause the child prejudice, Box on page 60). This makes accurate fact-finding all the including relatives and neighbours who might stigmatise more important and means that programmes focusing on the child for having been trafficked. This is important for prevention or protection should often also include a com- counter-trafficking organisations to bear in mind if they ponent that involves collecting up-to-date information. encourage journalists to report on the predicament of This is especially important as patterns of child trafficking trafficked children, as journalists may not even realise that change rapidly and it is important to detect changes to they are exposing children to danger. ensure that programmes respond to current problems. Investigators also have a responsibility not to raise a At the outset, details about a few cases give the issue of child’s hopes in vain. Children who are still being abused child trafficking a human face and play a useful role in when contacted by investigators almost automatically spurring policy makers to acknowledge the importance of assume they will receive some sort of help. Children who the issue. However, accurate information on patterns and have reached a transit centre and who are questioned by trends is soon needed if effective interventions are to be outsiders are also likely to feel they are being promised a planned: information about the different types of traffick- reward by answering questions. ing and exploitation occurring, the numbers of children involved and their ages, the routes used and accomplices A recent report published by the World Health Organiza- involved. All of this helps identify the opportunities for tion (WHO) identifies 10 basic principles to guide the intervening and changing things for the better, already ethical and safe conduct of interviews with adult women mentioned in Diagram 6 in Chapter 7. who have been trafficked. While these are designed for interviews with women of 18 or over, most apply equally Organisations trying to find out if children are being traf- to teenage girls and are important for all researchers in- ficked have to consider whether focusing their research vestigating child trafficking to bear in mind. Point 5 about narrowly on children being trafficked is the best approach, ensuring anonymity and confidentiality is important for or whether the assumption that migrant children are being NGOs which intend to inform the public about child traf- trafficked distorts their findings. Unless it is already clear ficking and are accustomed to featuring individual cases in that trafficking is occurring, it is probably more appropri- their publicity materials on the grounds that this is more ate to collect information about ‘migrant children’ in gen- effective than mere facts and figures. It is already ac- eral and to find out whether just a few or many migrant knowledged as good practice to substitute a child’s name children are being trafficked. This approach has the ad- with a fictional one when mentioning individual cases vantage of identifying the needs and difficulties of a wider (and to make it clear that the name has been changed). group of children, some of whom may experience abuse similar to trafficking, without being trafficked according There is also general agreement that the faces or other to any formal definition. identifying features of children subjected to sexual exploi- tation should not be shown in photographs (it is one of Techniques for collecting information the points made in UNICEF’s Principles for ethical reporting on children, described in more detail in the next chapter). Avoiding risks However, there is no corresponding consensus that pho- Investigating the situation of children whose status in a tographs and videos should not show the faces of children country is often illegal, whose occupation may also be subjected to other forms of exploitation. Clearly, each illegal and who may be under the control of criminals, organisation has a responsibility to assess the brings many risks. Those asking questions are in some possible risks and it is good practice to keep a record of danger themselves if they upset traffickers or their accom- the reasons it was judged safe to reveal a particular traf- plices, including corrupt local officials. However, the risks ficked child’s face. In the case of trafficked women, there that trafficking victims run by answering investigators’ have already been tragic consequences when journalists questions are invariably greater. They are still at someone assumed wrongly that traffickers would never see the else’s mercy after the investigators have gone and may Kids as Commodities? 57 Terre des Hommes
  • 58. films or photographs they made public. W.H.O.’s Ten Guiding Principles for the ethical and safe conduct of Consulting children interviews with women who have been trafficked Although the principle that 1. DO NO HARM children have opinions which Treat each woman and the situation as if the potential for harm is extreme should be listened to and taken until there is evidence to the contrary. Do not undertake any interview that into account is gaining wider will make a woman’s situation worse in the short term or longer term. acceptance, it still seems to be common for investigators and 2. KNOW YOUR SUBJECT AND ASSESS THE RISKS Learn the risks associated with trafficking and each woman’s case before counter-trafficking organisations undertaking an interview. to assume that they know what is harmful or beneficial for chil- 3. PREPARE REFERRAL INFORMATION - DO NOT MAKE PROMISES dren without checking with the THAT YOU CANNOT FULFILL children concerned, particularly Be prepared to provide information in a woman’s native language and the children who have received local language (if different) about appropriate legal, health, shelter, social assistance from their organis- support and security services, and to help with referral, if requested. ation. Many reports have 4. ADEQUATELY SELECT AND PREPARE INTERPRETERS, AND described cases of child traffick- CO-WORKERS ing, but in most it is difficult to Weigh the risks and benefits associated with employing interpreters, detect the voice of the young co-workers or others, and develop adequate methods for screening and people concerned and to find training. out what they thought about the actions that others took on their 5. ENSURE ANONYMITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY behalf, either to stop them being Protect a respondent’s identity and confidentiality throughout the entire interview process – from the moment she is contacted through the time trafficked, or to rescue them and that details of her case are made public. provide them with assistance subsequently. 6. GET INFORMED CONSENT Make certain that each respondent clearly understands the content and Members of the International purpose of the interview, the intended use of the information, her right not Save the Children Alliance have to answer questions, her right to terminate the interview at any time, and developed research methods for her right to put restrictions on how the information is used. focusing on what children them- 7. LISTEN TO AND RESPECT EACH WOMAN’S ASSESSMENT selves consider to be abuse and OF HER SITUATION AND RISKS TO HER SAFETY what solutions they propose, a Recognize that each woman will have different concerns, and that the way technique they call ‘Participatory she views her concerns may be different from how others might assess Action Research’ (PAR). A report them. focusing on children from Burma migrating to parts of China 8. DO NOT RE-TRAUMATIZE A WOMAN defines PAR as “people in the Do not ask questions intended to provoke an emotionally charged response. Be prepared to respond to a woman’s distress and highlight her organisation or community under strengths. study will participate actively with the researchers throughout the 9. BE PREPARED FOR EMERGENCY INTERVENTION research process from the initial Be prepared to respond if a woman says she is in imminent danger. design to the final presentation of the results and discussion of 10. PUT INFORMATION COLLECTED TO GOOD USE their action implications”.54 Com- Use information in a way that benefits an individual woman or that menting on the diverse situations advances the development of good policies and interventions for trafficked women generally. in which migrant children find themselves, it notes that: Source: World Health Organization Ethical and Safety Recommendations “Their voices and perspectives are eas- for Interviewing Trafficked Women, 2003 ily lost in traditional research models often developed in a framework, culture and language that are foreign to them … PAR offers opportunities to listen to communities, youth and children Kids as Commodities? 58 Terre des Hommes
  • 59. describe the impact of migration in the broader context of their lives 2001. Her findings were the basis of a report published and to explore with them the best means of providing support, given in 2003,57 supplemented by details acquired from children their frequently changing circumstances.” involved in programmes run by Terre des Hommes and the two local NGOs it works with, Ndihmë për Fëmijët (NPF), A different form of consultation involves learning from Assistance for Children, in Albania, and ARSIS in Greece. families whose children have not been trafficked what factors may have been relevant in preventing trafficking To obtain quantitative information, organisations have from occurring. In Nepal, Save the Children and a local commissioned professional researchers to survey, for District Development Committee developed what they example, a single district in a town to find out how many call a ‘Positive Deviance Methodology’ for learning in migrant children are employed as live-in domestic serv- such circumstances (the families concerned are ‘deviating’ ants, of what age and in what conditions. In theory it is from a norm).55 possible to extrapolate from the specific findings and make an accurate estimate of how many children are in Indirect indications that child trafficking may such employment in the city as a whole, or how many be occurring such children have been trafficked and from where. In practice accurate extrapolation is difficult. Because of the difficulties of getting into direct contact with children who have been trafficked, organisations ILO-IPEC has developed a technique known as ‘rapid concerned about trafficking have looked for indirect indi- assessment’, using a combination of research techniques, cators that trafficking may be occurring. A potentially im- to make general observations about patterns of child traf- portant one in Europe has been the number of unaccom- ficking or exploitation. The techniques include testimonies panied minors recorded arriving in a country and what from individual children and mini-surveys. happens to them. In Switzerland, for example, a review of statistics issued by the country’s federal office for refugees Common difficulties confirmed that there had been a significant increase over several years in the number of unaccompanied minors ar- Researchers seeking information about child workers riving in Switzerland and applying for asylum, particularly and children subjected to the exploitation associated with teenage boys. A surprisingly large proportion said they trafficking usually find it easier to contact teenagers than were from just one country, Guinea in West Africa, imply- younger children, who are harder to reach. There is con- ing that their arrival in Switzerland was being organised sequently a danger that young children may be unintent- systematically (along the same lines as the arrival in France ionally overlooked. In countries where some children are of Romanian teenagers from Oas, mentioned in Chapter trafficked into forms of exploitation practised openly or in 3). In 2001 1,387 unaccompanied minors applied for public (such as begging), it is easy to overlook the children asylum, of whom more than 95 per cent were 15 to 17- who are trafficked into criminal activities, or into a closed year-old boys.56 Just 10 were recognised as refugees, 104 environment, such as a sweatshop or a brothel, who are were given special permission to remain in the country, harder to contact. On the one hand, omitting them from while a further 1,273 had their applications refused, but an inventory of trafficked children risks excluding them did not necessarily leave the country. Some were found from the benefits of future action to assist trafficked subsequently to be involved in various forms of petty children; on the other hand, simply repeating claims that crime, prompting concern that they were being brought such forms of trafficking may be occurring, without hav- to Switzerland especially to earn money for others in illicit ing specific evidence, risks perpetuating inaccurate myths. activities. This sort of repetition has occurred a great deal in the case of trafficking of children and adults for organ transplants, Collecting information systematically making it difficult to identify cases in which trafficked children have genuinely had body parts removed and sold. After the first piecemeal reports indicating that children are being trafficked, better quality investigations are The risks of estimates and statistics needed to identify the various patterns of trafficking and exploitation, and the opportunities for intervening to stop The illicit nature of trafficking makes it hard to come up them. Research also needs updating regularly to detect with meaningful estimates of the numbers of children changes in the patterns, which may themselves be the trafficked within a country or into or out of a particular traffickers’ way of responding to initiatives by govern- country or region. The value of existing statistics is ment or non-governmental agencies. The techniques further undermined by the fact that different countries available vary from concentrating on the qualitative side and organisations still use different yardsticks to assess to wider surveys that produce quantitative data. In pursuit who should be counted and have different ways of of qualitative information, Terre des Hommes asked a Cana- gathering information. Some estimates are based on dian woman (a former police officer) to conduct several specific cases that are reported and represent a minimum investigations in Albania and Greece between 1999 and number. Others are extrapolated from known cases and Kids as Commodities? 59 Terre des Hommes
  • 60. are probably inaccurate. Yet other estimates appear to estimated that there were 5,000 unaccompanied Albanian have been conjured out of thin air, often in response to children abroad and a further 7,000 Albanian young wom- requests from journalists or government decision-makers en and girls involved in prostitution outside the country.61 for more specific information. Here, as in other European countries, the number of unaccompanied children was interpreted as an indication Researchers responsible for collating statistics do their of the number of children being trafficked. Unlike the best. However, on occasion they either double-count or more precise estimate for Nepal quoted above, this figure misinterpret information given to them, or the did not indicate how many children were being trafficked information itself is full of inaccuracies. At one level, abroad each year or over how many years the 5,000 agencies trying to plan their counter-trafficking activities children had left. It seems clear that in practice the are simply misled. However, there can be more dangerous Government of Albania has as much difficulty as NGOs consequences. For example, a government agency worried in coming up with meaningful estimates: statistics on about statistics suggesting the number of people trafficked the number of children who have left their home town is higher than they believe, and the proportion of traffick- reportedly come from local police stations. All of this ing-related arrests correspondingly lower, may respond demonstrates that statistics are not dependable if common by taking an action which serves to ‘improve’ statistics in standards on data collection and analysis are not clearly the short term, but which is counter-productive in terms defined. of respect for human rights, such as ordering the arrest of women and girls suspected of involvement in prostitution. If the numbers at national level are difficult to come up with, then those advanced as totals at regional or In some situations the minimal estimates based on the international level are even less reliable, in particular be- number of children intercepted by the authorities may be cause it is often unclear who is being counted. Does the an appropriate basis for decisions on counter-trafficking number refer to children leaving their own countries, or policy. In Bénin statistics from the special police unit deal- all those being trafficked into particular countries? Do the ing with children showed that the police were aware of figures refer to the children moved in the course of just 3,061 children trafficked out of the country or intercepted one year, or to all the children who have been trafficked while being trafficked over the five year period from 1995 and not yet known to have returned home? Statistics to 1999, an average of just over 600 a year. However, the about the number who have not returned home can show numbers varied greatly from year to year (from just over that significant numbers are unaccounted for; for example a hundred in 1995 to over a thousand in 1998). A count after being taken into custody by the authorities, escaping, of children involved in 1998 revealed that over 80 per and disappearing off the official record. However, it is cent were girls, confirming that it was vital to disaggregate also possible that the children concerned are no longer the statistics by gender, as well as age and other criteria.58 being exploited and have decided not to return home. Even so, it remained unclear what criteria were used by the authorities for assessing that a particular child was be- In most cases it is clear that statistics refer exclusively to ing trafficked. It was also unclear whether these were used cross-border trafficking. Researchers usually baulk at try- in a consistent way by the police themselves. ing to estimate how many children are recruited to work away from home within their own country in circum- The number of children intercepted does not tell the stances that amount to trafficking. Unfortunately, this has whole story and may give a quite inaccurate impression of the effect of confirming the assumption that a case only the total number. NGOs and inter-governmental constitutes trafficking if a frontier is crossed. organisations have invested heavily in research techniques designed to produce more meaningful data. In Nepal an ILO-IPEC rapid assessment in 200059 concluded that “12,000 children are trafficked every year from Nepal”; UNESCO’s Trafficking about a quarter (3,000) before they reached 14. The technique does not always work, however, and a more Statistics Project recent ILO-IPEC rapid assessment in Bangladesh (2002) “When it comes to statistics, trafficking of girls and women concluded that “Child trafficking in Bangladesh has is one of several highly emotive issues which seem to increased, although the magnitude of the problem cannot overwhelm critical faculties. Numbers take on a life of their be authentically verified”.60 One ministry had reported own, gaining acceptance through repetition, often with little inquiry into their derivations. Journalists, bowing to that half a million children had been trafficked from the pressures of editors, demand numbers, any number. Bangladesh into brothels in India and Pakistan. A Organizations feel compelled to supply them, lending false different official source estimated that just 4,500 woman precisions and spurious authority to many reports.” and children were trafficked out of Bangladesh each year. From: In a different part of the world, an official in Albania’s social services told Terre des Hommes in May 2002 that she Kids as Commodities? 60 Terre des Hommes
  • 61. The dangers of exaggeration and speculation trafficked children about their families and background in order to build up a detailed profile on the types of When the issue of the commercial sexual exploitation of children who are at greatest risk (statistically) of being children started receiving more attention in the 1980s, trafficked. In some cases this confirms the preconceptions there were good reasons for the estimates of the numbers that activists have: for example, that girls from involved to increase rapidly: research was at last being polygamous households are more likely to be trafficked carried out. However, there was also a negative reason: than girls from monogamous homes (a finding of one activists and politicians had found an emotive issue and investigation in Bénin), or that most Albanian children no-one seemed to object to the scale of the problem being trafficked under the age of 12 belong to the Jevgjit portrayed without regard to accuracy. community. In other cases they contradict preconceptions. The practical disadvantage of exaggeration is that, while it may provoke a reaction, the response proposed is likely to Challenging preconceptions be out of proportion with the problem that needs address- ing. It is consequently essential for organisations designing The facts about trafficking sometimes speak for them- programmes to protect children to tailor their inter- selves. But facts often need interpreting. In order to ventions to the scale of the problem they are tackling. reach meaningful conclusions about the factors that were Similar to the danger of exaggeration are risks associated encouraging children aged from six to 17 to migrate from with speculation. It has been primarily in countries of the villages in rural Burkina Faso, information collected by EU where considerable numbers of unaccompanied Terre des Hommes and a World Bank consultant in Burkina minors are known to be arriving that there has been Faso62 was subjected to regression analysis, a statistical speculation that such children may be exploited in technique designed to establish if there is really a mean- extremely abusive ways: children leaving care may end up ingful relationship of cause and effect between different working in brothels; adopted children may end up in the variables. The analysis concluded that a number of stand- hands of paedophiles, and so on. It is right to worry about ard assumptions were wrong. Children who were leaving such possibilities and to investigate them, but wrong to home and being trafficked did not come from the poorest speculate too publicly and risk precipitating unnecessary families in their villages (although ‘better off’ households action which might itself do harm to children. Clearly in rural Burkina Faso are still poor in absolute terms); there is a difficult boundary between not being children with older mothers (rather than older fathers) complacent and over-reacting. were more likely to migrate; and, much less expectedly, girls whose mothers were literate and among the better Being aware of different patterns of child educated members of the community were more likely to trafficking migrate than those with uneducated mothers. Both governmental and non-governmental organisations New definitions of what constitutes trafficking have led trying to put an end to trafficking in Bangladesh – of researchers to look for different categories of children children and adults – have worked together to identify and revised the idea that it is only girls who are trafficked the different variables involved in trafficking, cooperating (even if it is essentially girls who are trafficked for sexual in what is known as the ‘Bangladesh Thematic Group’ exploitation). In the case of Nepal, it has been well known (see Diagram 6 in Chapter 7). Their aim is not to suggest for many years that tens of thousands of girls were being that the phenomenon of trafficking is too complicated to trafficked to work in brothels in India. A Nepali NGO tackle, but to distinguish between patterns of trafficking focusing on girls and women, the Women’s that require different remedies. In the case of adults, the Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), intercepted a group Group started by analysing patterns of migration in gen- of 25 boys at a train station in 2001 and found that they eral, within which trafficking was occurring. In the case of were on their way to work in Mumbai (India). Subsequent under-18s, they swiftly concluded that trafficking of young research by the NGO revealed a very substantial pattern children (up to 12 years of age) had significantly different of trafficking of Nepali boys to India, but they were being characteristics to the trafficking of older adolescents and trafficked to work (often as bonded labourers), not into required correspondingly different solutions. the sex industry63. The Bangladesh Thematic Group is involved in assess- ing data about trafficking rather than conducting primary research. Its experience shows how important it is for different agencies to pool their information and compare their assessments of why particular trafficking patterns are occurring, as well as on the differing responses needed. Elsewhere, many organisations have discovered independently that it is important to collect details from Kids as Commodities? 61 Terre des Hommes
  • 62. Chapter 12 Campaigning against child trafficking ‘ Campaigning” is usually associated with NGOs, child trafficking, specific objectives could include persuad- especially when it involves lobbying for govern- ing specific governments to incorporate international ment action or publicity. Government departments standards, such as UNICEF’s Guidelines, into domestic and international organisations also organise public law and practice, or tackling more specific aspects of the information ‘campaigns’ to warn people about the trafficking problem, such as trying to reduce the stigma dangers associated with trafficking: these are considered attached to children who have been trafficked or ending in Chapter 14. Campaigns come in all sorts of shapes and the summary deportation of trafficked children. The tech- sizes: they can be short, with specific objectives, or much niques to be used in each case are bound to vary. longer, with an evolving set of goals. In this sense, the US government launched Measuring success a ‘campaign’ when it adopted a law against Either way, in order to be effective, campaign organisers trafficking in December need to know what they are trying to achieve. A campaign 2000 and embarked on differs in some important ways from other projects to a series of initiatives to bring about social change, but many of the same questions reduce trafficking all arise when checking whether it has been effective. Is it over the world. clear enough who the campaign is trying to influence and what it is trying to influence them to do? Is it feasible for This chapter starts by a campaign to achieve its objectives? Has enough thought looking at some of the been given to the individual steps that are required to questions which cam- reach long-term goals? Most of these are questions to paign planners have to consider when a campaign is at the planning stage. consider. It then explains what campaigns in sev- In order to assess whether progress is being made during eral specific countries the campaign towards meeting its objectives, it is good have tried to achieve. It practice to identify indicators of success in relation to par- ends by describing the ticular objectives, so that these can be measured to see if international campaign the campaign is having the desired impact. The challenge, which Terre des Hommes of course, is to measure intangible factors such as ‘public launched in 2001. ‘Stop Child Trafficking’ opinion’ and to assess whether popular acceptance of the poster used by Terre des forms of exploitation experienced by trafficked children is Campaigns on child traf- Hommes and its partners in decreasing. ficking are nothing new, Latin America although, as noted earlier, Campaigning techniques they have not always used the term ‘child trafficking’. For the past decade and a half the issue of the commercial In addition to publicity, which is associated with most sexual exploitation of children has been the focus of campaigns and is considered separately in the next chap- campaigns by ECPAT and others. Even before the ter, a wide range of other techniques have been used to adoption of the ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Labour mobilise public opinion and to influence both the general Convention in 1999 and the UN Trafficking Protocol in public and specific audiences such as government officials 2000, a range of NGOs were campaigning to end cases in or those employing children. Just one technique is consid- which children were being moved across frontiers to be ered here, as it has been a feature of campaigns on child exploited, not just in prostitution, but in a variety of other trafficking all over the world: the involvement of well- ways. known personalities. Choosing the aims of a campaign Campaign organisers often recruit people who are famous or whose views are respected by the public they want Some campaigns are launched as a form of protest, for to influence. When UNICEF’s national committee in example against the very fact that children are being traf- the United Kingdom (UNICEF-UK) wanted to provide ficked, either anywhere or in a specific country. However, information about child trafficking to the public in the protests can consume a lot of time and resources without United Kingdom, they asked the British pop star Robbie achieving much. Consequently there has been a clear Williams to take part in publicity and duly secured a trend over several decades towards campaigns which have high level of media attention. more specific and achievable objectives. In the case of Kids as Commodities? 62 Terre des Hommes
  • 63. While this technique has often been used in Europe and necessary to end the pattern of abuse that is occurring. North America, it is less familiar to developing Indeed, objections to the use of the term ‘slavery’ to countries. In Mozambique, Terre des Hommes secured denounce cases of child trafficking in countries as far public attention and support for its campaign from apart as Côte d’Ivoire and the United Arab Emirates both Graça Machel, the widow of Mozambique’s first (UAE) show that it can be positively harmful to the President, and her husband, Nelson Mandela. Both had children concerned to insist on using it, if it delays the attracted public attention successfully to other sorts of remedial action to help them. abuse suffered by children, both in their own countries and elsewhere. United Arab Emirates In Indonesia, a campaign against the trafficking of both Campaigns have been organised by NGOs concerned children and women was launched in June 2003 by two about child trafficking in their own country and also organisations, the International Catholic Migration elsewhere. A major feature of the campaign concerning Commission (ICMC) and the American Centre for the UAE is that few protests have been voiced within the International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). They asked a country, while NGOs in both Europe and South Asia radio and television personality, Dewi Hughes, who was have campaigned against trafficking into the UAE and well-known in Indonesia, to act as the country’s first other Gulf countries. National Spokesperson for the Campaign to Eliminate the Trafficking of Indonesian Women and Children. The idea The UAE authorities were presented in the early 1990s of involving a media personality was not only to secure with evidence about young boys being trafficked from media coverage, but also because she is also regarded by both Africa and South Asia to the UAE to ride in camel many Indonesians as a more trustworthy source of advice races. They responded, but the response failed to resolve than officials who speak out on this issue. At the press the problem and was viewed by some as window dressing. conference launching her role, Dewi Hughes addressed The Government instructed the national office in charge Indonesians who were thinking of migrating and the of racing to increase the minimum weight for jockeys, so parents of children who might work abroad: that small children could no longer be involved. The rules were indeed changed, but no reduction in the number of Let me start this dialogue with two simple messages. First, to people foreign child jockeys below the weight limit was noticed thinking of migrating abroad or within Indonesia to look for work: by observers. Arrivals of young boys continued, unimped- find out as much information about your recruiter, the job, the em- ed by the authorities, and no prosecutions were reported. ployer, addresses, and migration process BEFORE you migrate … The second message I want to deliver is to parents. Children under Faced with government intransigence, in this case NGOs 18 should not migrate for work. Let’s work together to find ways to passed information to trade unions, which in turn keep them at home and in school.64 submitted the information formally to the ILO, alleging a violation of the ILO’s convention prohibiting forced Pressure on a government abroad labour. After being criticised at the ILO’s annual conference, in 2003 the UAE Government reportedly The initial objective of numerous campaigns has been to agreed to allow a group of ILO experts to visit the persuade a specific government to recognise that children country in order to see how the issue could be resolved. are being trafficked into (or out of) its country, in the Nevertheless, foreign journalists visiting the country expectation that the government will take appropriate continued to witness children riding in races.65 action once the problem is acknowledged. Several governments in the EU and elsewhere have had difficulty Undoubtedly one of the disadvantages of this campaign is in acknowledging that unaccompanied children entering that is has been orchestrated from outside the Gulf. their countries are actually being trafficked. Others had Television or newspaper pictures of child jockeys have no difficulty in recognising that children were being traf- had the shocking effect they were intended to have, but ficked, but objected to the use of particular terminology, on audiences far away in Europe and Australia, rather notably when campaigners claimed children were ‘slaves’. than on any closer to home who actually influences In Bénin, for example, since the Etireno case the government policy in the UAE. Government has reacted with hostility each time this label has been used. At one level this reflects the Terre des Hommes’ International Campaign extraordinary power of the word ‘slavery’, due to its against Child Trafficking historical connotations (especially in Africa), and the shame it imposes on a country or government which The ‘International Campaign against Child Trafficking’ allows a case of slavery to occur on its territory. Most launched by Terre des Hommes in 2001 was designed to human rights activists acknowledge that it does not combine three elements: increased awareness of child matter what terminology is used, as long as the trafficking by both the general public and by policy government concerned agrees to take the steps makers and legislators; specific projects to prevent Kids as Commodities? 63 Terre des Hommes
  • 64. child trafficking, protect individual children from Germany was already available, showing that being trafficked and provide protection and assistance unaccompanied minors were arriving in Germany, to children who have been trafficked; and amendments principally from Romania but also from several other to laws along the lines of the UN Trafficking Protocol. countries, and being exploited systematically by organised The three elements are regarded as inter-dependent, in criminal gangs to commit theft or act as drug couriers66. the sense that specific projects could not make progress Members of these gangs evidently believed that this unless the public and government decision makers were reduced their personal risk of being caught and more aware of the problem, but the awareness raising prosecuted and that the youngsters involved, if arrested, campaigns also depended on projects to generate were unlikely to be brought to court. Most of the children detailed information about what was actually happening were found to come from parts of northeast Romania. and what methods were most appropriate for Their recruiters reportedly used a mixture of persuasion responding to it. and deception, telling them they ran no risk and that, if they were arrested, they would simply be put into a care The campaign was launched at international level, centre which they could leave. Little specific information coordinated by Terre des Hommes in Germany with four about the total number of children trafficked to Germany general demands calling for the ratification of were made, but in 1998 some 250 children were estimated international treaties on trafficking, for specific measures to have been brought to Germany from Romania to take to ensure the protection and rehabilitation of trafficked part in thefts. children, for greater cooperation between governments and for action to prevent trafficking. The campaign was Terre des Hommes focused on German legislation concern- then developed and re-launched by a set of regional ing child trafficking and on the ambiguous and vulner- campaigns in Latin America, West Africa, Southern able status accorded to unaccompanied minors arriving Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. It is scheduled in Germany. It mobilised its members throughout the to continue into 2005. country to disseminate information about child traffick- ing to the public. In early 2002 it published a short report As long as it was an international initiative to intensify explaining the weaknesses in the existing law and suggest- the attention being given to the issue of child trafficking ing improvements. The campaign also aimed to persuade all around the world, Terre des Hommes’ campaign did not the German Government to withdraw a reservation it had have to focus on particular target audiences. However, registered to Article 22 of the Convention on the Rights of the once the campaign was developed at regional and Child, which entitles children applying for refugee status to country level, it was given specific objectives and its style receive “appropriate protection and humanitarian and messages were tailored to suit these. In Southeast assistance” in order to enjoy their rights as recognised by Asia, for example, the priority has been to develop child international law. protection networks in villages where children are believed to be in danger of being trafficked. The campaign has involved some 1,600 Terre des Hommes members organising events to inform the public in The international campaign has seen activities in more Germany about child trafficking and to persuade them to than 30 countries so far, in Africa, Asia, Europe and put pressure on their members of parliament. At the time Latin America. Some 25 research projects have been of parliamentary elections in September 2002, all the carried out in different parts of the world. In a number candidates received a list of Terre des Hommes’ demands. of countries lobbying has contributed to laws being Soon after this, several German states (Länder), includ- tightened up (for example in Chile, Colombia and ing Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein, Mozambique) and protection measures have been lodged formal requests for Germany’s reservation of improved (notably in Albania). Some 900 other Article 22 to be withdrawn; one state, Bayern (Bavaria) organisations have taken part in joint activities concern- opposed this proposed change. Alerted to the issue by ing child trafficking and a number of organisations Terre des Hommes campaign, members of German’s Federal involved have been given awards for their work in the Parliament organised hearings on the issue and in January campaign 2004 a parliamentary commission called on the Federal Government to withdraw the reservation. Later the same Fine-tuning the campaign message for month the request for the reservation to be withdrawn Germany was reiterated by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, at the end of its formal review of Germany’s As Terre des Hommes developed the campaign in indi- implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. vidual countries or countries involved at both ends of a trafficking chain (such as Albania and Greece or Mo- zambique and South Africa), the demands became more specific. By the time the campaign started, basic information about children being trafficked into Kids as Commodities? 64 Terre des Hommes
  • 65. Fine-tuning the campaign message for • Working with Mozambique others to set up a shelter for children In Southern Africa the issue of child trafficking has only deported from received attention over the past couple of years. In South Africa near contrast to regions such as Southeast Asia, where child Ressano Garcia, the trafficking has provoked concern for many years, and main crossing point even West Africa, where patterns of cross-border between trafficking were identified form 1996 onwards, neither the Mozambique and nature of the problem, nor the appropriate solutions South Africa, where receive much attention until this decade. Indeed, the the South African Marching against child trafficking HIV/AIDS pandemic tended to drown out other issues. authorities dump in Maputo on 16 June 2002 By the time Terre des Hommes launched its campaign against deported children child trafficking in 2001, however, a diverse set of issues and adults. were already receiving attention in the Southern Africa region, such as the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the abuse in South Africa of migrants from neighbouring countries, both adults and children. The fact that South Africa is a magnet for migrants from neighbouring countries made it logical for a campaign against child trafficking to be organised for the Southern Africa region as a whole, rather than in just one country. Mozambique is just one of the countries involved in the campaign. Activities there have varied from the general to the specific, involving awareness raising, lobbying politicians and both prevention and protection projects. The campaign was planned in 2001. Its launch in 2002 coincided with a general campaign in the country to promote respect for children rights. On 16 June 2002 (formerly Soweto Day, now the African Day of the Child), 7,000 children marched through Maputo demanding recognition of children’s rights and protesting against child trafficking. They were accompanied by Graça Machel (the widow of Mozambique’s first President) and her husband, Nelson Mandela, and also Mozambique’s Prime Minister, Pascal Mocumbi.In addition to providing the media in Mozambique with information about child trafficking, the campaign has included: • Lobbying a Parliamentary Commission to take action to provide protection for trafficked children in South Africa and Mozambique; • Training police on the issue and on ways of protecting children’s rights (three police stations were given training as a pilot project on both child trafficking and other violations of children rights); • Providing legal assistance for child victims of sexual abuse and trafficking in Mozambique; • Identifying trafficked children at a centre for street children in South Africa; Kids as Commodities? 65 Terre des Hommes
  • 66. Chapter 13 Publicity as a technique to combat child trafficking W ell focused publicity is a key part of most successful campaigns. It is considered in this separate chapter, rather than together with other aspects of campaigning, whether the measures taken against trafficking by each government were adequate and pressing governments to do more. In 2002 the US State Department began pub- because its impact can be so great (both in a positive and lishing this annual report. The two reports published so a negative way) and because decisions to publicise child far have categorised government responses at three levels, trafficking are often linked in with the process of collect- from the adequate to completely inadequate. The US has ing and analysing research information. now threatened governments that are failing to take appropriate action with a withdrawal of economic or Achieving a break-through with publicity military aid. In addition to the impact of this threat, however, the US report also represents a classic use of In several parts of the world, reports compiled by the ‘name and shame’ approach to human rights abuse, investigative journalists about the commercial sexual based on the assumption that being named publicly (as exploitation of children have played a major role not doing enough) will shame a government into reacting in changing public policy and improving protection for more positively. Despite the scant detail contained in the children. country chapters of the reports published so far, they do appear to be having the desired effect. In the first case, Gilberto Dimenstein’s book, Meninas da Noite. A Prostituição de Meninas-Escravas no Brasil 67, pub- Predicting the effects of publicity lished in 1992, focused on girls trafficked into Brazil’s Amazon to work in brothels near mining and construction However, the reaction that publicity provokes is not easy camps. The impact of Dimenstein’s newspaper articles to predict or control, as an example from West Africa and book provoked a Brazilian Congressional Comm- illustrates. In 2000 British journalists filmed a group ission of Inquiry the following year – resulting in govern- of teenage boys from Mali working on a cocoa farm in ment estimates that about half a million girl children were neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire in conditions of slavery. The being subjected to commercial sexual exploitation around film was broadcast in Britain just a few days after the two the country. Both the government and others began countries had signed a bilateral agreement to stop child addressing the issue as a result. trafficking. The broadcast jolted Western cocoa import- ers into action. The result of their interest, however, was In the second case, also dating from 1992, Belgian to focus attention narrowly on children involved in the journalist Chris De Stoop published Elles sont si gentilles, production of just one export commodity, cocoa, and to Monsieur. Les trafiquants de femmes en Belgique et en Europe.68 sideline initiatives being taken by local activists to prevent While the book did not focus especially on under-18s, it children from Mali (and also Burkina Faso) being traf- reported on the enslavement of adult women and teenage ficked into any forms of exploitation in Côte d’Ivoire. girls alike, focusing on the leading role played by Belgian traffickers and brothel owners. This initiative also resulted Organisations providing protection to girls who have in a parliamentary inquiry and eventually in new laws be- been trafficked have found that publicity has encouraged ing passed and new procedures adopted in Belgium for prejudice against victims of trafficking in general and of assisting victims of trafficking. commercial sexual exploitation in particular, exacerbating the difficulties caused by the social stigma associated with Both reports catapulted the issue of trafficking into the prostitution, rather than helping overcome it. In Albania, public arena – specifically of children trafficked inside this became a reason for some counter-trafficking NGOs the country in the case of Brazil, and of non-European to refuse to give interviews or information to local women and girls trafficked into Europe in the case of journalists, or to do so only by e-mail, so that they had an Belgium. Both resulted in major new initiatives to end the accurate record of exactly what information journalists exploitation that had been highlighted. had been given, in case they felt the media subsequently misreported or distorted anything said to them. Shaming governments into taking action against trafficking Particular questions arise when journalists or cameramen accompany police and NGO activists on raids to try and The US law against human trafficking that was adopted rescue children who are being trafficked or exploited. The in December 2000 required the US State Department publicity could obtain badly needed public support for (the country’s foreign ministry) to publish a report each such operations. It may well also boost the public profile year containing detailed reports of human trafficking of an NGO or its leader, as ‘crusaders’ against child abuse. on a country-by-country basis, and also commenting on But it can also make the predicament of children worse Kids as Commodities? 66 Terre des Hommes
  • 67. – and in the worse cases publicity shortly before a raid by journalists as such! However, the aim is not to prevent has resulted in children being hidden and the whole the horrors of trafficking being publicised, but rather to operation sabotaged. The film and programme editors protect the children involved. involved have a responsibility to make sure that publicity does not have a negative effect on the children concerned Most organisations that provide protection to children and that a cameraman or journalist does not act in a have adopted codes of conduct or other internal rules to way that frightens children or intrudes on their privacy. resolve such dilemmas. In the immediate aftermath of the NGOs, both individually and collectively, have a Etireno affair in 2001, Terre des Hommes was besieged by responsibility to ensure that abused children are not used journalists seeking access to the children in its Oasis centre by NGO activists to boost their own standing. in Bénin who had been on the ship. The NGO decided: In addition to the WHO Guidelines already mentioned, • The children’s anonymity should be preserved. In case UNICEF has also issued its own Principles for ethical report- the testimony given by an individual child could have ing on children, which NGOs should follow themselves, in negative consequences for the child, his or her face should addition to urging journalists to observe them. These be rendered unidentifiable in a film or photograph. Principles suggest that the name of a child should be changed, and his or her visual identity obscured, if the • The producer of a radio or television programme would child is identified as: have to allow Terre des Hommes to view the programme before its transmission, in order to identify other a) a victim of sexual abuse or exploitation; problems which could cause prejudice to the children. b) a perpetrator of physical or sexual abuse; • Interviews with the children should not be broadcast until after the case of the Etireno was brought to court and c) HIV positive, living with AIDS or has died from resolved. AIDS, unless the child, a parent or a guardian gives fully informed consent; The last two points were difficult ones to insist on, for journalists are rarely willing to concede that anyone can d) charged or convicted of a crime. look at their stories or films before publication, regarding this as an infringement of their independence. NGOs can- In the case of trafficked children who have not been not dictate to journalists what they should do: all they can subjected to sexual exploitation, there are some additional do is try and influence them, having thought through the considerations which may still make it unwise (and possible unintended and counter-productive effects that unethical) to reveal a child’s identity. Sensitive situations publicity, or certain types of publicity, could have, before include: seeking any. • showing the child in a degrading situation, particularly Fictional representations of child trafficking one that could cause them prejudice later in life; in films • showing a child who is extremely upset, for example, While the importance of basing campaigns on accurate after bursting into tears, again if this demeans the child information was stressed in the last chapter, this does not concerned. mean that fictional representations of child trafficking have no role to play in campaigns. It is simply that fiction In the first case, it would be reasonable to use a photo- should not be confused with factual reporting. graph to illustrate the way that trafficked children are Experience seems to show, however, that although film made to beg in public, but perhaps not when they are makers and television programme directors seeking being shouted at by members of the public or by their information about child trafficking tell the NGOs they trafficker. In the second case, photographs of children contact that they want to make a positive contribution, in crying in pain or grief can be a good illustration of reality their projects are so expensive that they take on a tragedy, but care needs to be taken not to intrude on a momentum of their own and it is difficult or impossible particularly sensitive moment of privacy. for NGOs to influence the messages the films convey. A host of other dilemmas face NGOs caring for children, Mira Nair’s film Salaam Bombay! made a considerable which should be resolved systematically in favour of an impact when it came out in 1988, mainly because it high- individual child’s best interests. This may mean not allow- lighted the issue of child prostitution. However, the boy ing journalists to question trafficked children directly, or hero of the film has been sold (to a circus) himself, and at least taking precautions to ensure that a child does not the film presents the cruel world of street children and divulge information which could cause her or him pre- child exploitation, illustrating issues closely linked to child judice. This may sound like censorship and be criticised trafficking. While a film like this is fiction, it can Kids as Commodities? 67 Terre des Hommes
  • 68. potentially convey much more about the day-to-day experiences of children who are trafficked than either a film documentary or photographs of trafficked children, both of which have to protect the identity of real children. More recently, Lukas Moodysson’s film Lilya 4-Ever came out in 2003 and also had a strong message. The film recounts the story of a 16-year-old girl living in desperate straights in Russia, who accepts an offer to travel to Sweden, only to find that she has been trafficked into prostitution. The film is reported to have had an impact on the way members of Russia’s Duma voted on a proposed new law concerning prostitution. Kids as Commodities? 68 Terre des Hommes
  • 69. Chapter 14 Preventing children from being trafficked T his chapter reviews the efforts made to prevent children from being trafficked in the first place, along with initiatives to prevent them from being exploited in the places where they are taken to. It starts by looking at efforts to prevent trafficking organised in areas where trafficked children come from, as well as some less specific measures to address the general causes of children leaving home. The second part of the chapter looks at initiatives in areas where trafficked children are exploited. These different preventive strategies have been designed to have an impact on some of the specific factors mentioned in Diagram 6. Near to home – Preventing traf- ficking where children are re- cruited The causes of trafficking are tied up with both social and economic structures and inequalities. Confronting these structural causes requires long-term initiatives which are not directed specifically at trafficking, but which seem likely, among their other effects, to reduce the chances that children will be trafficked. The first three pre- ventive measures listed here (birth registration, education and increasing household income) fall into this category. Birth registration The introduction of birth registration is a basic measure to allow a range of children’s rights to be implemented. In the specific case of trafficking, having a formal record of a child’s birth, age and identity enables the age and nationality A play at a Bénin school to deter parents of trafficked children to be established from sending their children abroad more easily than when no formal record of a child exists in his or her home coun- forms of employment. They also enable children to look after themselves try. More than 15 years ago, the Human more effectively. The lack of priority given to keeping girls at school Rights Committee established by the UN’s has been a significant factor resulting in them entering the employment International Covenant on Civil and Political market when they are too young. Lack of education, as well as upbringing Rights stressed the importance of birth and culture, keeps many girls docile and obedient, by reducing their self- registration in the context of trafficking: esteem and confidence to a low level and limiting their knowledge about alternative ways of making a living. It also limits their potential, once they “The main purpose of the obligation to register have been trafficked, to resist their exploiters and assert their children after birth is to reduce the danger of independence. abduction, sale of or traffic in children, or of other types of treatment that are incompatible with the In addition to basic education, schools and other youth centres play an enjoyment of the rights provided for in the important role in making young people aware of the sorts of exploitation Covenant.”69 to which they, or other children, could be subjected. Taboos on sex education are a handicap in this context, in industrialised countries as well Education as developing ones; these include the sensitivities surrounding sex education, which delay it until it is too late to help children who are traf- Both attendance at school and informal ficked into commercial sexual exploitation. Some specific ways in which forms of education help ensure that children have been presented at school with information about trafficking children do not end up in exploitative are described below. Kids as Commodities? 69 Terre des Hommes
  • 70. Increasing household income their relatives will think again or at least know better how to avoid the dangers. In countries in Central and Eastern In the case of families which are in extreme poverty and Europe and elsewhere, information about potential see no economic opportunities for their children in their danger sometimes falls on deaf ears because the media has own communities, the development of new income gen- so often been used for propaganda purposes by the erating opportunities is a way to reduce the pressure on government and is not trusted. It is consequently people to migrate and potentially to stop trafficking. This important that information campaigns should be based on is easier said than done, for in most cases it means finding accurate data about risks, not scare stories which ordinary solutions to the structural causes of poverty! people soon work out are exaggerations and disregard as irrelevant, and that individuals who are regarded as However, once detailed research has been carried out to trustworthy should be asked to relay the message (as in identify the communities, families, or even individual the campaign in Indonesia mentioned in Chapter 12). children who are most likely to be trafficked, targeted efforts to increase the income of the households Information can be targeted quite specifically on areas concerned become feasible. In Albania, this allowed where traffickers recruit, or among groups of young Terre des Hommes to focus its activities on the Roma people who may be thinking of migrating. In small towns communities living on the outskirts of the towns where in the southwest of Bénin, just one of many areas in the most children trafficked to Greece come from. country from which children have been trafficked abroad, theatre groups have put on plays in schools and villages to In other cases, it is not the whole community which demonstrate what can happen to children who go abroad. appears vulnerable to trafficking. A review of previous The photograph on page 69 shows a scene from a play in cases shows that specific categories of children are most which a rich-looking relative comes to a village in search at risk, notably those in families which have experienced of children to take abroad. The relative turns out to be economic breakdown (including as a result of deaths much less nice than expected by the parents or child. The caused by HIV/AIDS), or domestic violence, including theatre group was supported by a local NGO, Enfants sexual abuse of the children themselves. In parts of West Solidaires d’Afrique et du Monde (ESAM). Africa, it is children in polygamous households who appear to be at risk. As Chapter 10 indicated, such Ideally, it is not just parents or teachers or even polit- patterns only become apparent as a result of detailed ical leaders in a community who are mobilised to stop research. children being trafficked, but the community as a whole. There have been attempts to do this along the same lines Information campaigns to increase as ‘child protection networks’ designed to prevent awareness of the risk of trafficking children leaving home in other circumstances which are likely to result in abuse and exploitation, such as their A great deal of money has been invested in campaigns to recruitment to be child soldiers. In Southeast Asia Terre disseminate information about the realities of trafficking des Hommes and other NGOs have embarked on a pro- and the risks to young people who migrate (of being traf- gramme to mobilise the inhabitants of 5,000 villages and ficked and exploited). The information has been aimed at urban communities in protection networks, using the different groups of people who are believed to be able to slogan ‘Our village supports its children’. In situations influence the situation, such as: where the whole community is going to be mobilised to prevent abuse such as child trafficking, it is important to • The children known (from other cases) to be most at engage members of the community on terms that they risk; understand and to use arguments they are likely to • School children in general; sympathise with. In the specific case of child trafficking, • Young people who may be considering migrating; this means finding out what criteria adults and children • Parents in communities from which children have been take into account when weighing the pro’s and con’s of trafficked; leaving home or allowing their children to do so. This • Other influential adults in communities from which involves a ‘bottom up’ approach, rather than the ‘top children have been trafficked; down’ one of imposing a slogan or message devised by an • Social workers and others who may detect signs that international organisation or a government ministry. children are about to be trafficked; • Professionals who may come into contact with traf- Most people know there are risks and regard migration as ficked children: counter-trafficking police, immigration a gamble, not as a ‘road paved with gold’. Much depends officials, doctors and other health professionals. on their assessment of the opportunities at home, as well as the risks elsewhere. If there are few prospects for The assumption underlying most information campaigns earning a good living near to home, organisations should is that, once presented with information about the risks provide those intending to leave home with advice and and abuse associated with migration, potential migrants or assistance, rather than simply trying to dissuade them. Kids as Commodities? 70 Terre des Hommes
  • 71. Much also depends on what local people think is reason- This in turn means persuading organisations to share the able – in terms of the age at which children are expected conclusions of their evaluations, whether they think an to attend school or at which people think it is reasonable initiative has been successful or not. for children to start working away from home. In the absence of any consultations with the communities Information for specific audiences concerned about what people consider appropriate, there is a strong likelihood that information campaigns Information campaigns and training exercises are two will preach a message that has little to do with the reality ends of the same effort to influence people who are in a of people’s lives, and will consequently be ignored. particular position of influence to prevent trafficking or to assist children who have been trafficked. The wish to consult local people and understand the reasons prompting children to migrate led Terre des In several countries, NGOs have targeted transport Hommes activists in Burkina Faso to organise discussions workers whose vehicles were reported to be used in the in three pilot villages. These involved traditional process of trafficking, both to ensure the drivers or leaders, parents, former child migrants, villagers who had other workers are aware of what is happening and to employed children and local people who had worked enrol their support in preventing it. In Mali, it was abroad. This gave programme planners an insight into possible for Save the Children Canada to sign a formal local perspectives on child migration. agreement with the trade union representing lorry drivers, designed to ensure that drivers would inform The message here is that while anyone can come up the police and the NGO if they spotted children being with an idea that sounds like a good way of preventing moved in suspicious circumstances. In Nepal, a well trafficking, it is difficult to predict what the impact of known counter-trafficking NGO, Maiti Nepal, contacted disseminating information will be and also difficult to men who pull rickshaws in areas along the frontier with evaluate its impact afterwards. The solution is not to India where children were known to be taken across the stop organising information campaigns, but to evaluate border. Eventually the trade union representing their impact more carefully, even if this is expensive, and transport workers became involved as well. With other to incorporate any lessons learnt in future campaigns. target groups, simply providing information may not be Albanian children living in Athens (Greece) Kids as Commodities? 71 Terre des Hommes
  • 72. enough and organising a training session is probably funding to be ear-marked for such evaluations and for more appropriate, for example to the police, military and more discussion between organisations to identify and customs officials, the judiciary, social workers and encourage the methods that have proved most effective. journalists. Away from home – Prevention in places Social work where children are exploited Social workers are not active in all countries, particularly The biggest obstacle to effective action in areas where not in the rural areas where traffickers do their recruiting. trafficked children are being exploited is denial that a Where information about patterns of recruitment is suffi- problem exists, or an inclination to minimise its ciently detailed to identify individual families or children at seriousness (‘it’s just child labour’). There are plenty of risk, social workers have an obvious role to play, whether other obstacles: knowing where and how trafficked they are employed by a government agency or an NGO. children are being exploited, getting access to them and In Albania, Terre des Hommes case workers visit families being able to do something useful on their behalf. In the where a child is reckoned to be either ‘at risk’ or ‘at high cases of teenage girls trafficked for commercial sexual risk’ of being trafficked. The techniques tried in cases of exploitation, where there is clearly a market of local men high risk have included providing families with material and boys who are paying for commercial sex, an assistance in kind (such as food), made conditional on the additional obstacle seems to be the reticence of local child (judged to be at risk of being trafficked) remaining organisations to target such men and boys to persuade at school. Such cases generally require close liaison with them not to pay for commercial sex with girls or women other local authorities. In the Albanian situation, Terre who may have been trafficked, or at least to do so in a des Hommes concluded that it would damage their social way that convinces them. workers’ chances of success if families suspected that the NGO passed information to the police, either about cases Many trafficked children are invisible as far as most of trafficking which had already occurred, or about members of the public are concerned in the countries insipient cases, even if close collaboration with where they are exploited. In the worst cases, children may anti-trafficking police units seemed appropriate in order be kept in secret captivity by paedophiles or confined to to defend the child’s best interests. In such circumstances brothels, along with other young adults, for commercial NGOs have to consider carefully how to position them- sexual exploitation. However, it is quite common for traf- selves in relation to local officials, in order not to ficked children to be working openly, when they are not compromise the effectiveness of their work. easy to distinguish from other young people in the area. A particular problem concerns children recruited to work Difficulties to overcome as domestic servants, who spend most of their time in the privacy of someone else’s home, where neither their The various initiatives mentioned here show that working conditions, nor their physical state can be selecting a preventive technique that is effective can be assessed by others. something of a gamble. Virtually all the organisations involved conclude that some of their initiatives have been Help-lines ineffective (or significantly less effective than others). An obvious example of good practice in coming to terms Telephone help lines are primarily a way of allowing with this is to be found in an evaluation of several victims of exploitation to seek help once they are ILO-IPEC programmes concerning trafficking for sexual experiencing abuse and need help in escaping from it exploitation, published in 2001.70 This identifies initiatives (along with drop-in centres, mentioned in the next that have been successful and calls for them to be chapter). Help-lines do not prevent trafficking from replicated elsewhere. It also lists areas where programmes occurring, but by announcing their existence to potential have not proved successful and need adjusting. These migrants, including children, before they find themselves included various initiatives whose impact could not be being abused, potential migrants are warned that abuse measured clearly. It also criticised “Untargeted might take place and given a potential line of information campaigns and materials, and expensive educational communication. materials that are simply handed out with no strategy, follow-up or feedback” and “Prevention programmes in a context in which there Educating employers is no attempt to simultaneously deal with demand”. Initiatives in areas where children are recruited generally There is a risk, of course, that a preoccupation by donors aim to stop trafficking from taking place at all, while and evaluators with being able to measure impact may efforts in areas where trafficked children are exploited can reduce the funding available for preventive action. This try to reduce the demand for trafficked children by would be a pity. However, there is an obvious need for targeting potential employers or consumers of products more evaluations of preventive initiatives, for more or services that involve trafficked children. In some cases, Kids as Commodities? 72 Terre des Hommes
  • 73. this involves tackling the demand for any sort of child around the world who choose deliberately to employ labour, whether the children involved have been trafficked children who are away from home and easier to or not. manipulate than either local children or adult workers. Few of these look likely to be open to polite persuasion to Employers are a very diverse group. They vary from those stop exploiting children, so law enforcement and rescues who consciously take advantage of children, putting them are probably better ways of helping the children under to work in brothels or making them work in inhuman and their control. However, in each case the trafficked degrading conditions, to those who are well intentioned children are producing a service or product that other and genuinely believe they are acting in the best interest people pay for and it may be possible to influence these of the trafficked children whom they employ. The second consumers. of these groups is usually a better target for attempts to change employers’ attitudes and to persuade them, for Educating ‘consumers’ (tackling ‘demand’) example, not to employ children below a certain minimum age. When it comes to influencing people who benefit directly or indirectly from the work of trafficked children, there is Employers of child domestic servants have been the target clearly an important distinction to make between children of attempts in various parts of the world to influence their subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and others. attitudes. The NGOs and other agencies involved usually try to end the recruitment of young children In the cases of products made by children who have (under 14) and to improve the treatment of older children been trafficked, along with those subjected to bonded who continue working in the privacy of a household. labour or illegal child labour, it is reasonable to assume These attempts have been made in countries as far apart that most members of the public who buy them are una- as Bénin, Bangladesh, Haïti and the Philippines. Some ware who makes the article they are purchasing. In these child domestics work part time and still live at home; circumstances, it seems appropriate to start by making almost by definition, however, children trafficked for this consumers aware of the abuse, by providing them with sort of work are live-in servants, at the beck and call, night information. This was the aim of a campaign in Europe in and day, of the family they work for. It is rare for such the late 1980s and early 1990s, which highlighted the ex- children to have formal contracts setting out what they ploitation of bonded and illegal child labour used in mak- have to do and the remuneration they are to receive. ing hand-knotted carpets in India and other South Asian Some are trafficked into situations where they are not countries. Eventually, campaigners in both Europe and free to leave, however badly they are abused. India worked out a scheme for monitoring carpet factories (which were often just huts in isolated villages) to check NGOs trying to assist child domestics, whether or not whether any children were working there, and attached a they have been trafficked, have to choose between differ- label, known as ‘Rugmark’, to each carpet made in a unit ent strategies: to remove children from the households that was monitored, guaranteeing that no child labour had they are working for, or to leave them in place and try been used. The use of such labels has been bitterly con- and improve their conditions. As a first step towards tested by some South Asian exporters (and importers in improving matters, NGOs have contacted employers, Europe and North America), who claim it is impossible to for example to ask for the young employees to be given provide a meaningful guarantee. More relevantly, perhaps, some hours off to attend non-formal education classes. In for campaigners concerned about children who are traf- Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, in the mid-1990s an NGO ficked or bonded, the scheme’s designers either thought it called Shoishab decided that influencing employers was a was not viable to distinguish between children who were high priority and tried to persuade them to agree formal bonded labourers and other children working below the contracts with their child servants, limiting the hours they legal age for employment, or not desirable to do so. work and giving them at least minimal rights to time-off. By 2001, 5,000 employers were reported to be involved. In the case of children who are trafficked so that they can A Shoishab poster aimed at employers shows the picture beg for money in the streets or outside places of worship, of a well-to-do woman (an average employer of child people who give out of generosity and a sense of charity domestics in Dhaka) saying: “I am educated, so I have to be approached carefully, so as not to under- understand the importance of education”.71 mine their sense of charity. In Thessalonica, in northern Greece, the Greek public was initially generous when, in Other employers of trafficked children are more difficult the late 1990s, Albanian children began turning up at traf- to recognise as ‘employers’ in any normal sense. They fic lights and begging from motorists. Once members of include the adults (or older children) who control child ARSIS had understood what was going on, they set about beggars and take all or some of their takings, the bosses influencing the public in order to make people aware that of brothels and massage parlours where children make their donations were going to traffickers who controlled money for them through commercial sex and the owners the child beggars. The campaign had significant of a wide range of sweatshops and small production units success. By 2003, Albanian youngsters were no longer Kids as Commodities? 73 Terre des Hommes
  • 74. being paraded in tattered clothing to generate pity, although smaller numbers continued to sell small items to diners in pavement restaurants and play music to them in order to collect money. As in so many other places, the adults who hand over money to children act out of good motives, but seem unaware that their money is probably destined for someone other than the child they take pity of. Influencing men who buy sex In the case of commercial sexual exploitation, the men (and it is mostly adult men, along with some older boys) who buy the sexual services of girls or boys are aware from the beginning that they are paying for sex. Some campaigners think this is morally outrageous and denounce prostitution in general, along with all the men and boys who frequent prostitutes. At the same time, others in favour of sexual liberation argue that adult women and even girl children above the age of sexual consent are entitled to accept money or favours in return for sex and call for laws criminalising prostitutes or their clients to be dropped. Neither of these two factions makes it easy for counter-trafficking organisations to focus attention on the fact that buying commercial sex has different implications when it involves someone in slavery to when it is with a sex worker who has chosen this way of earning money. In theory it should be possible to persuade some men who pay for sex with women or girls that they may be condoning and encouraging both traf- ficking and the enslavement suffered by victims of traf- ficking. This is a difficult message to get across, but at the same time failing to convey it looks like a missed opportunity. When a new law on trafficking in human beings was under discussion in Greece during 2002, there was a proposal that men paying for sex with trafficked women should be penalised. The proposal was rejected, reportedly on the grounds that too many men in the country engaged in commercial sex and would potentially be penalised. The law eventually adopted makes it an offence (punishable by six months’ imprisonment) to knowingly accept the services of a trafficked person. It was also made an offence to pay for sex with a child of any age, with the offence being considered more serious if the child concerned was under 15, and most serious if under 10.72 Kids as Commodities? 74 Terre des Hommes
  • 75. Chapter 15 Identifying and rescuing children who have been trafficked T his chapter considers how law enforcement agencies and others can identify children who have been trafficked and what can be done on behalf of traf- early on, when they apply for a visa before even leaving their own country, sometimes on their arrival at an airport or other border post. Unless they have been instructed to ficked children while they are in transit (and have not yet look out for trafficked children and know what the tell- reached the destination where they will be exploited) or tale signs are, immigration officials and police assume the once they are being exploited. It looks at initiatives to information contained in identity documents is reliable. ‘rescue’ children and at whether it is sometimes more This means there are numerous cases in which trafficked appropriate to let them continue working but provide children are treated as adults because their documents them with support, without assuming that they should be state that they are 18 or over. This occurred to a West ‘rescued’ and sent home. African teenager who arrived at a British airport by her- self; as was required by law, she was referred to a local Recognising children who have been social services residential centre. After a few days, she left trafficked the centre and rejoined her traffickers, as she had been instructed to do before arriving in the United Kingdom. The task of recognising particular children who have been She was put in a car to be taken across the Channel to trafficked, the first step towards taking them out of the another country. When the car was stopped by British control of traffickers or exploiters, should be performed police, she was arrested and detained – because her traf- by government agencies involved in immigration, policing fickers showed the police a false passport indicating she and labour inspection.73 However, government agencies in was an adult.74 most countries perform this task poorly. The exceptions are government agencies which have acquired specific While law enforcement agencies have a virtual monopoly expertise on trafficking or the worst forms of child labour. of guarding border crossing points where traffickers and children transit from one country to another, they play The routine problem when law enforcement officials a much less significant role in policing key transit points come into contact with trafficked children is that they within a country. It is in places such as ports, railway react as if the children concerned were criminals, not stations and bus stations that NGO personnel have a victims of abuse. Consequently, trafficked children are good opportunity to identify and come to the assistance frequently detained, either because of the illegal work they of children being trafficked within their own countries. are involved in, or because they are considered to be Either way, recognising and identifying the children illegal immigrants, in which case they may also be concerned is just a first step. Not only do the children deported. In neither case are they given the assistance need identifying and rescuing, but there is then the they need and which international conventions and difficult process of tracing their relatives and assessing guidelines require governments to make available. where the children should be living. This is a terrible indictment of government inaction. It While identifying and stopping illegal immigrants is contrasts to the impressive public statements and com- a high priority for governments around the world, once mitments made by diplomats and politicians. The obvious children start being exploited, government agencies tend conclusion is that the political will of governments to to be relatively ineffective in detecting them. This is true, take the right sort of action for trafficked children need at least, in the countries where numerous children are strengthening – by campaigning and lobbying. Another being exploited in the worst forms of child labour and conclusion is that more must be done to share the law enforcement agencies are not yet being deployed expertise that has been accrued by a few government systematically to detect cases or to intervene on behalf of agencies (about appropriate techniques and procedures the children involved. Consequently, it is often NGOs for identifying trafficked children and responding to their which become aware of the predicament of trafficked plight) and to persuade other governments to train their children who are in the phase of being exploited. police and other agencies accordingly. The ability of any agency to get access to children who Efforts can be made to identify trafficked children both are being exploited depends on whether the exploitation while they are in transit and once they are being exploited. is socially acceptable and taking place openly, or In the case of children being taken from one country to unacceptable and taking place in secret. In the case of another, particularly by air, it is primarily immigration children working as domestic servants, beggars and street officials who come into contact with them – sometimes vendors in West and Central Africa, they are both visible, Kids as Commodities? 75 Terre des Hommes
  • 76. at least some of the time (when domestic workers leave and between countries where river and sea routes are still the privacy of a house to fetch water, for example, or to important, such as the Philippines and Indonesia. Else- go to market), and accessible to agencies which make an where, railway and bus stations offer similar opportunities effort to reach them. In contrast, children in the hands for intercepting possible trafficking victims. of criminal gangs or pimps in EU countries are harder to reach. Identifying trafficked children means finding out The Visayan Forum Foundation (VF) is an NGO in the where they might be and sending someone to the places Philippines, active principally in Metro-Manila and Davao involved to make discrete inquiries, work that NGOs and City. During the second half of the 1990s, VF developed investigative journalists seem better at doing (or more its work on behalf of children (mainly adolescent girls) willing to take on) than officials. However, this may employed as ‘household helps’ in the cities. They realised simply be because governments do not instruct law that some three to five million passengers were passing enforcement agencies to make this a priority. through Manila’s North Harbour each year, with more than half estimated to be women and children in search Unaccompanied minors of work. VF saw this as an opportunity both to intercept trafficked children and to provide young people who The arrival of unaccompanied minors in EU countries has were arriving in the capital with information which could already been mentioned as a cause for speculation about protect them later on, such as emergency help telephone whether they are being trafficked and the suggestion in numbers. In August 2000, VF opened a ‘halfway house’ some countries that it is reasonable to assume that all or on Pier 8 in the Harbour, providing information about most unaccompanied minors are victims of traffickers. travel, employment and possible support networks, and Once again, there is a danger here of adopting the point emergency temporary shelter and legal advice to those of view of government agencies preoccupied with im- who needed it. VF staff also embarked on a project to migration status, rather than focusing on the experience involve shipping crew and port workers, as well as law of children who have left home and on the exploitation enforcement personnel such as coast guards and police, they are subjected to. From the latter perspective, it is a in efforts to identify and intervene on behalf of children mistake to view every unaccompanied minor who ends who might be trafficked. The strategy of involving port up making money illicitly in a country in the EU (or and transport workers in the fight against trafficking has anywhere else) as a victim of trafficking. Boys and girls already been mentioned. who are brought to EU countries especially to take part in burglaries, begging or prostitution and to pass their earn- Intervening on behalf of children being ings onto others should indeed be viewed as trafficked. exploited However, teenagers involved in irregular migration who end up earning their living in the informal economy of Once trafficked children are being exploited, their predic- EU countries (more often than not, illegally) are not nec- ament resembles that of other children caught up in what essarily being kept under someone else’s control or having are now generally called ‘the worst forms of child labour’. their rights abused. Their status is undoubtedly troubling While international standards are clear that no children for immigration agencies, but criminalising the various should remain in any of the forms of exploitation ment- intermediaries as ‘traffickers’ does not seem sensible when ioned in the UN’s Trafficking Protocol, in practice the those involved in helping a child migrate believe that they dividing line between these sorts of exploitation, on the are helping a young person to get on in the world. The one hand, and more acceptable cases of child employment problem here lies in the rich world’s fears of the poor and on the other is often unclear. Occasionally it turns out in the categories now embedded in international law (‘traf- that government agencies and NGOs cannot offer traf- ficking’ versus ‘migrant smuggling’) which seek to distil ficked children a better alternative that the predicament the cases of all unaccompanied children who are refused they are already in. An added complication is that many asylum into these two categories, instead of focusing more working children, including some working a long way specifically on how the human rights of the young people from home, who have been ‘trafficked’ according to the concerned are affected and whether they are being sub- technical definition, state clearly that they do not want to jected to sexual or economic exploitation. be ‘rescued’ or returned home; they want to remain where they are (or at least remain in the country in which they Interception while children are in transit find themselves) and seek a better future there. Statements along these lines should not be interpreted as consent to When an earlier UN convention on human trafficking human rights abuse by children whose knowledge of the was drawn up at the end of the 1940s75, it recognised that world is too limited to know what alternatives are open ports were a key point for intercepting people being traf- to them. But in the case of children whose situation is not ficked from one country to another. This is no longer the clear cut, their views should be given due consideration. case as far as international trafficking is concerned (as Cases of this sort involve children who investigators think air travel has largely replaced ships for intercontinental may have been trafficked, but it is not clear, and they may travel), but holds true for children being moved within simply be migrant workers; alternatively, it may be clear Kids as Commodities? 76 Terre des Hommes
  • 77. that they were trafficked, but are no longer being subject- they feel they are still being detained and still subjected to ed to unacceptable exploitation and are now old enough abuse. to be earning money for themselves. In such cases, it may be much more helpful to provide young people with sup- There are a few cases in which NGOs have been able to port, to empower them, without trying to extract them rescue trafficked children without involving law enforce- from the jobs they are doing. ment officials, but this is relatively rare. In France, the Comité contre l’esclavage moderne (CCEM), Committee Against The classic option for getting in contact with street Modern Slavery, once it is informed by a neighbour that a children and others who are able to move around freely young African or Asian is incarcerated in someone’s flat, is to establish a ‘drop-in centre’ where they can stop for in effect as a domestic slave, has found ways of contacting a little while. In the case of trafficked children, this offers them secretly and arranging to get them out. an opportunity to check up on their well-being and offer them support. This strategy recognises that the employer More conventionally, NGOs that suspect trafficked of a child working away from home does not have the children are being confined against their will tell the same role (in law or in practice) as a parent, and there is police, sometimes accompanying officials on a subsequent an urgent need for someone (or a group of people) to raid. In countries such as Brazil and the Philippines, the perform some of the functions associated with guardian- authorities themselves concluded that police corruption ship and to keep an eye out for each child’s best interests. and leaks were resulting in abused workers being moved To start with, taking a look at them periodically to ensure elsewhere before a raid took place; special police units they have not been abused physically or mentally is a were set up as a result, which have proved more effective. useful first step. In the worst cases, where law enforcement officials work hand-in-glove with traffickers, or consider the exploitation In some cases a short visit can eventually be prolonged, of trafficked children too banal to worry about, the police for example so that children employed as domestics can refuse even to register complaints brought by NGOs or attend a social club or non-formal education regularly. In others. Once again, political pressure is needed to halt Mumbai, a church offers the use of its premises once a such complacency. week to girls of all ages working as domestic servants in the city. While trafficked children and young children are The technique that has created more controversy than any less likely to attend than teenagers, it does allow some vic- other concerns the use of money to ‘buy’ victims out of tims of abuse to be identified and to start receiving help. debt bondage and other forms of slavery. It came under close scrutiny in Sudan, where several NGOs claimed Both drop-in centres and other social centres have been that paying large amounts of cash was an effective way to used to advertise telephone help lines. The challenge in secure the release of children and women who had been this case is to ensure that children being subjected to ex- abducted and enslaved. Critics of the scheme complained ploitation realise that they are indeed victims of abuse and that the use of money simply encouraged the abduction of that the public message they see actually concerns them, more victims; some even suggested the entire scheme was rather than only other children who are even worse off. A bogus and that little of the money had actually been used further challenge is to convince them that the benefits of to secure releases. The same technique has been used in contacting a help-line will outweigh the risks. NGOs have several other countries to free adults or children used both posters (in Bangladesh) and television adverts controlled by traffickers or pimps, when no other (in India) portraying child domestics as victims of abuse to technique seemed available. It seems clear that ‘buying get a message across to such children that help is available. out’ or paying a ransom to secure the release of a victim of trafficking should never be adopted as policy or used ‘Rescues’ as the main technique for securing the release of children from exploitation, although it would be understandable if Once particular locations have been identified by police or relatives or others resorted to it in desperation. NGOs as harbouring children who have been trafficked or are being exploited, in principle the children concerned should be rescued and moved. However, the terms ‘raid’ and ‘rescue’ have acquired a bad reputation among many counter-trafficking activists. This is in part because acts of rescue have been televised or photographed in a way that comes across as self-promotion for the rescuers, while demeaning the children (or adults) being rescued (for ex- ample, showing them on television cringing away from the cameras or trying to run away). It is also because the vic- tims of trafficking (again, both children and adults), once rescued, have been deposited in residential centres where Kids as Commodities? 77 Terre des Hommes
  • 78. Chapter 16 Protecting trafficked children and enabling them to recover T his chapter looks at what must be done to protect children who have been rescued or who have managed to escape on their own. It considers the sort of protection children should be given once they are removed from Once again, governments have the major responsibility for protecting children from abuse. The guidelines the hands of traffickers and are living in a transit home and how they can issued by the UNHCR, the UN High best be helped to recover from their experience (including their physical and Commissioner for Human Rights and psychological health) before starting life afresh. by UNICEF all spell out what governments and statutory agencies should do to protect anybody who has been trafficked and how children who may have been trafficked should be treated.76 However, the gap between their requirements and what actually happens is very wide. Indeed, governments often refuse to take the most basic step of all, one which only an agency with governmental authority can take, that of regularising the legal status of a child who has been trafficked across borders into a country where he or she has no legal right to be. Deliberately or not, the ambiguity in trafficked children’s legal status and rights to remain in a country is at present exploited systematically to deport them. As the various UN guidelines spell out with great clarity what governments and statutory agencies should do, this chapter concentrates instead on what NGOs can do for trafficked children once they have escaped from the control of traffickers. As far as both recovery and returning home are concerned, girls who have been subjected to commercial sexual exploitation face specific obstacles, in particular because of the social stigma associated with prostitution; indeed, in many societies the very fact that an unmarried girl is reputed to have had sexual intercourse is a cause of stigma. NGOs can work with others to change popular prejudice, both gender-based stereotypes and ignorance of the coercion and vio- lence to which trafficked children are subjected. However, it will probably take decades to make a difference; in the meantime practical ways have to be found of coping with stigma and Nepali girl recovering from trafficking experience prejudice. Kids as Commodities? 78 Terre des Hommes
  • 79. Protecting children who have been rescued centre managers also have to distinguish clearly between their responsibilities (to look after the best interests of Once ‘rescued’ by the police, another government agency each child) and those of the police or authorities, who or an NGO, trafficked children, like all children in care, may think priority should be given to carrying out a crimi- have an immediate need for lodging and food and usually nal investigation. also for medical attention and other treatment. Protection from traffickers and other threats They also need protection to ensure that they are not sub- outside jected to further abuse. This means protecting them from intimidation by the individuals who trafficked or exploited Trafficked children are at risk of being enticed back by them and stopping such people from contacting them their traffickers. They may also be at risk of retaliation, at all. It also means protecting their privacy (from intru- particularly if they are asked to give information to the sions by journalists or others) and ensuring they are not authorities that might be used in the course of a subjected to abuse by the care workers or other children prosecution. For these reasons, managers of residential or adults who now surround them. In some countries, the centres often decide to restrict the free movement of authorities considered in the past that the easiest way of children in and out of a centre, as well as of outsiders providing protection was to lock up trafficked children coming in. When it is considered safe for children to and women, keeping them in what is called ‘protective go out, many managers nevertheless consider that they custody’, usually indefinite administrative detention. should be accompanied by an adult to give them extra Needless to say, this is a serious violation of their human protection. The degree of intrusive security and the degree rights. to which it is reasonable to deprive a child (or anyone else) of their freedom of movement on the grounds that In the case of children who have been exploited sexually, this is for their own protection are questions that every while it is important that they should be given a medical organisation running a residential centre for trafficked check-up to establish if they have caught any sexually children has to consider carefully, weighing factors that transmitted diseases, it is also important that teenagers differ according to the perceived risks. They also have to who are mature enough to understand the implications bear in mind that children who feel imprisoned are likely should not be subjected to compulsory testing to see if to resent this and look for ways to escape. they have HIV/AIDS. 77 Protective Custody Shelters, transit centres and residential care It is principally in South Asia that trafficked women and Residential centres taking in children, whether run by children have been locked up in ‘protective custody’. The statutory organisations or NGOs, require a formal legal assumption underlying this practice seems to be that it status in order to do so and to protect themselves against is acceptable to deprive poor people of their freedom of accusations that they too are abusing children. In count- ries where the authorities refuse to acknowledge that traf- ficking is occurring, the status of institutions established to look after orphans, street children or other abandoned Care standards children can usually be used to take in trafficked children on a temporary basis. While children generally benefit Quality care is a basic right of all who enter a caregiving facility, whether it is for medical treatment or psychosocial from mixing with others of their own age, placing traf- treatment. Quality of care standards are developed and ficked children alongside children who are accused of used for three basic purposes: to provide the most effective breaking the law may make things worse by encouraging and responsive care for survivors [of trafficking]; to maintain their own feelings of guilt; this needs avoiding. As in the professional, transparent and accountable care practices; and to support caregivers in their work. cases of other transit centres for children, there are clear benefits in involving members of the local community in Quality of care standards are adaptable to individual running the centre, to ensure that it is not seen either as a cultural settings, but basic standards cannot be den of inequity or a place where children receive privileges compromised. The indigenization of caregiving practices should not justify harmful practices, such as physical that neighbouring children are deprived of. However, this discipline or denial of the rights of the child. has to be done with great care and without jeopardising the children’s safety. John Frederick (Ray of Hope, Nepal), ILO-IPEC consultant, at a consultation for South Asian practitioners on the issue of the Psycho-Social Rehabilitation and Occupational The mere existence of a residential centre for children is Integration of Child Survivors of Trafficking and Other not sufficient to ensure that trafficked children are better Worst Forms of Child Labour, quoted in Creating a Healing off than they were before. As with all children put in resi- Environment, Volume I, 2002 dential care, it is important that managers have a clear idea of what they plan to achieve for each child. Residential Kids as Commodities? 79 Terre des Hommes
  • 80. movement, when it is obviously not. NGOs have also incorporated into every organisation’s code of conduct, been accused by children of acting in a heavy handed way. notably that “Sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitar- Research carried out in Bangladesh for ILO-IPEC re- ian workers constitute acts of gross misconduct and are vealed that 70 per cent of the trafficked children who had therefore grounds for termination of employment” and experienced residential care felt they had been that “Sexual activity with children (persons under the age re-imprisoned in the controlled environment of NGO of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or shelters.78 age of consent locally” In 2003 the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child Most international NGOs that take care of children have expressed its concern to the Government of Bangladesh adopted strict codes of conduct for their own staff and that child victims of abuse or exploitation were being anyone else coming into contact with the young people placed in ‘safe custody’ and deprived of their liberty for up in their care. Terre des Hommes was one of the first to learn to 10 years.79 the importance of this, in the early 1990s, as a result of a scandal in Ethiopia concerning one of its staff abusing If children are requested to provide information for the children in care. Among smaller, locally based NGOs, authorities to use in charging or prosecuting suspected standards sometimes seem lax and the strict codes traffickers, the authorities themselves should provide ways adopted by large organisations are deemed too rigorous of protecting them (and their close relatives) that seem to implement. Some local organisations voice the concern full-proof. Needless to say, as soon as one trafficked child that codes of conduct require care staff to be so distant in a particular transit centre makes a statement used as from the children in their care that they cannot show the evidence, others are likely to fall under suspicion of doing children any affection. so as well. Recovering from physical and psychological Protection from abuse while in a transit harm home Various forms of harm inflicted on trafficked children Children in residential care have been subjected to many were mentioned in Chapter 6. Some can be treated by different sorts of abuse, and victims of trafficking are no health professionals in a clinical way, while others require exception. The most infamous cases involve sexual abuse. psychosocial attention from other professionals. NGOs These cases resulted in a group of international humani- and other agencies helping children to recover can aim to tarian agencies (mainly inter-governmental organisations) help children recover in three distinct ways: establishing the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse i. Arranging medical attention and treatment; in Humanitarian Crises. The Committee published a Plan ii. Addressing social behaviour and the child’s of Action80 in 2002, which serves as a point of reference ability to interact with other people and society for NGOs working both in humanitarian crises and in general; with other victims of abuse. It suggests six points to be iii. Providing catch-up education or vocational training. NGOs codes of conduct In theory all three can be provided to children while they live in the community. In practice, the lack of alternative for staff residential arrangements and the need to protect children The Terre des Hommes Foundation in Switzerland has a from both traffickers and others mean that children are code of conduct for its staff which requires them (among usually placed in a residential centre, either near to the other things) not to: place where they have been rescued, or when they initially arrive back in their country or area of origin. NGOs • be alone with a child; working on behalf of children have realised that their pe- • use any form of physical ‘punishment’ including hitting, physical assault or physical abuse; riod in residential care should be kept as short as possible, • enter any form of sexual relations with children; in order to avoid a child becoming ‘institutionalised’ and • engage in any form of inappropriate physical finding it even harder to adapt to the real world as a result. behaviour such as, kissing, hugging or touching a child; • use language or act in a physically or sexually This means that it is not in the interests of children in resi- provocative and inappropriate manner; dential care to give them a level of material comfort that is • stay overnight, in the same room, with any child; better than anything they are likely to experience outside, • invite a child/children to their place of residence. Other branches of Terre des Hommes have codes as this would make their environment seem even more containing similar provisions, as do many other NGOs. false. The day-to-day routine of residential care brings some return to normality to children whose routines may Kids as Commodities? 80 Terre des Hommes
  • 81. have been warped by working 18 hours a day or living in a provides affection and attention to former child labourers brothel. The stability of relationships with care staff is also who have experienced various forms of exploitation and helpful. However, none of this should disguise the fact abuse. There are regular sessions of chanting and individ- that life in residential care is artificial and it should be kept ual children recount their experiences of being exploited as short as possible. to others. In addition to enabling them to understand the social and economic context in which they have been Emotional support and attention are essential to enable exploited, this is intended to give them information about children to recover from abuse, but by themselves they how they, and other children whom they meet, can avoid are not enough. These days it is reasonable to expect both falling victim in the future. The agenda is supplemented NGOs and other agencies providing assistance to traf- by reading and writing skills, vocational training, leader- ficked children to provide a professional level of care (see ship development and education about Indian culture and Box). If possible, minimum care standards in residential human rights.81 centres should be agreed at national level and spelled out explicitly, so that staff and others know what is expected Treatment of children subjected to of them. This is evidently impossible when a pattern of commercial sexual exploitation trafficking has barely been recognised and staff at an exist- ing transit centre are responding on an ad hoc basis to the The needs of children who have been subjected to com- needs of children who turn up at their door. This was the mercial sexual exploitation are not just an ‘add on’ to the situation in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, in the late attention and support needed by all trafficked children; 1990s, when a religious community began looking after they differ substantially and are specific to the exploit- West African children who had run away from their abu- ation they have suffered. Children subjected to sive employers. commercial sexual exploitation are likely to have suffered harm to their health, but once again it is more obvious Organisations providing care have noted the importance what forms of clinical treatment are needed, to deal, for of being as clear as possible at the outset about what example, with sexually transmitted infections, than what needs to be achieved in relation to children who have ex- the best treatment is for addressing a child’s psychological perienced particular types of exploitation and to set objec- state. ECPAT-International has distilled the expertise it tives for the cases of individual children. has acquired about children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in a guide available on its web-site.82 Clinical treatment is not always available or affordable, but Some of their conclusions apply equally to children who the physical harm inflicted on trafficked children is usu- have been subjected to other kinds of exploitation and ally relatively straightforward to diagnose. The most tragic abuse. For example, ECPAT notes that children who cases concern children who have caught a life-threatening enter residential care after suffering sexual abuse or disease for which no remedies are available to the child, exploitation usually go through four distinct phases, such as HIV/AIDS. There is much less agreement about which it labels the ‘honeymoon phase’, the ‘adjustment the best techniques for tackling the psychological state of phase’, the ‘settling phase’ and the ‘moving on phase’. trafficked children, their social skills and behaviour. The It is in the adjustment phase that children demonstrate general approach has involved ‘counselling’, enabling a behavioural difficulties, such as resisting discipline, child to talk alone, or with other children with similar ex- becoming angry, and bizarre behaviour, such as hoarding periences, with a trained adult about the trauma she or he food or hiding their possessions. It is during this phase experienced. Most agree that it is vital to give each child that children require the closest attention and support. a sense of security, predictability and control and that it is more important to develop a child’s sense of self-esteem Education and training by encouraging good behaviour, than criticising negative or deviant behaviour. However, residential centres go Trafficked children require a future like any others, and about this in different ways. Sometimes the differences their needs to acquire the knowledge and skills that will seem almost ideological: some residential centres believe enable them to generate an income are much the same as the key is recreating a family-like atmosphere, in which those of other children whose normal development has they hope children will respond positively. Others aim to been arrested (such as child soldiers or children living and ‘empower’ children, helping them to understand the social working on the streets). and economic context in which they have been victims of abuse, giving them the skills necessary to forge their own Children’s needs evidently vary a great deal according to futures and creating a sense of solidarity and responsibility the age at which they have been trafficked and the age for preventing other children from being abused. they are when they are recovering and receiving support from others. They need self-confidence and the basic The residential centre run by SACCS (South Asian Coali- knowledge and skills to survive, particularly older children, tion on Child Servitude) in New Delhi, the Mukti Ashram, who will soon have to manage by themselves. In some Kids as Commodities? 81 Terre des Hommes
  • 82. cases this means reintegrating them into formal schooling and persuading reluctant schools to accept a child who is ECPAT’s list of life and older than the other pupils studying at the same level. In other cases it means providing non-formal education, with social skills needed by a focus on life skills, such as being able to count and deal with money and being able to make decisions for them- sexually exploited selves. In the case of children who have been regimented children and required to follow orders, virtually without thinking, this can be a slow process, and a greater priority than • Health education - including nutrition and hygiene learning to read and write. An NGO in Togo reckoned that the best way for a 10-year-old child who had become • Sex education - including family planning and HIV / STD a virtual robot after working for several years as a live-in • Literacy skills unpaid domestic was to ask an ordinary family to foster her and develop her social skills. • Numeracy and financial management – e.g. budgeting Catch-up education is provided by many residential cen- • Vocational training / education to give access to employment tres, as are various forms of vocational training. Involving children in work in a residential centre is widely regarded • ‘Home making’ skills as a useful form of therapy. In such cases, it is important • Interpersonal skills - to be able to relate to others to distinguish between therapy and training which is appropriately and form ‘healthy’ adult relationships expected to actually help a young person generate an income after they move on. • ‘Keep safe’ skills - including assertiveness • Problem solving skills It is not surprising that organisations running residential centres and training schemes in relative isolation do not • Ability to deal with and manage emotions - including base the vocational training they provide on any deep anger analysis of the local economy and likely potential of • Sense of self worth, confidence and motivation different income-earning activities, but rather on local assumptions and common sense. The problem with this is that it tends to generate too many children with skills From: The Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Children who have been that are difficult to market: numerous teenage girls who Commercially Sexually Exploited - A Training Guide, 2003. have learnt to cut and style hair, for example, or to sew and make clothes, in a market which is already saturated by others. The answer in such cases is for organisations providing training to children to work out with others what different vocational skills are likely to be in demand in the future. Kids as Commodities? 82 Terre des Hommes
  • 83. Chapter 17 Making a new start T his chapter concerns the question of whether children who have been trafficked should return home – whether, if they have been taken to another assessed as being in their best interests. Assumptions by either a government or an NGO that there is a standard solution for all trafficking cases almost always need country, they should be repatriated and, in whichever challenging. NGOs should not have to make decisions country they are, whether they should rejoin their original about a child’s future unless they have been given legal family. It also addresses the predicament of children who guardianship of the children concerned, but in many have been trafficked as babies and who have no memory countries the government’s framework for protecting of their original family. children is so weak that NGOs end up making decisions by default. It seems obvious that young people should be consulted and involved in any decisions about their future, whether Government policies on repatriation it concerns the possibility of their returning to their own country or the profession they would like to learn skills Governments generally assume that any adult or child for. Undoubtedly when schemes to repatriate and who has been trafficked from one country to another reintegrate trafficked children have failed in the past, it must automatically be returned to their country of origin. has frequently been because of a failure to involve the Many governments remain unwilling to allow traffick- children concerned adequately and the attitude of ing victims to remain on their territory, even for a short bureaucrats (both governmental and non-governmental) period, to receive medical attention or to decide whether who assumed they knew what was best for a child. they are willing to testify at the trial of a trafficker. Returning home In the worst cases, law enforcement officials receive orders to deport anyone found in their country illegally, It seems an obvious assumption that children who have adults or adolescent children, without any legal proceed- been taken away from their homes by traffickers should ings, yet alone a specific investigation to find out if the be helped to return home once they are able to do so. person concerned has been trafficked. This practice Indeed, when it comes to cross-border trafficking, this remains common in both developing and industrialised is the premise on which most governments’ policies are countries. In Greece, for example, although the law on based. This is the conventional model of trafficking provides protection for anyone suspected of having been trafficked, it is still the norm for the Greek => arrival in residential care => treatment => recovery authorities to deport Albanian teenagers who come into => family reunification their custody and do not have any legal entitlement to be in Greece. The main improvement obtained by child However, in real life, a host of questions arise. Children rights NGOs is that the authorities now inform them who were trafficked when they were very young (under when a deportation is about to occur (although often with the age of five, for example) may have no memory of only a few days’ notice), so that an NGO in Greece can their original family and no knowledge of their original inform its counter-part NGO in Albania that a child in language or culture. Those who have been trafficked as need of assistance is about to arrive at the frontier.83 teenagers after deliberately leaving home to make their fortune elsewhere probably want to make a success out NGO approaches to repatriation of migration rather than returning home; indeed, they are likely to feel guilty for returning empty-handed and will While there is only a limited amount that NGOs can do want to leave home again straight away. to challenge official policy, in many individual cases NGO representatives argue that it is not in a trafficked child’s The risk of both reprisals from traffickers and the stigma best interests to be returned home. When it comes to how attached to prostitution need taking into account as well. children should be repatriated, most NGOs think that the The stigma attached to prostitution means that girls who only acceptable form is voluntary assisted return. have been subjected to sexual exploitation, or even just suspected of having been, may be persecuted or marginal- However, feelings of national pride play a role and it is ised in their home community. noticeable that NGOs based in the countries which children are trafficked from or organisations composed All this means that decisions about individual children of the nationals of such countries tend to act on the and groups of children who have been trafficked should assumption that ‘their’ children will automatically be be based on their particular circumstances and on what is better off back home, when this may not necessarily Kids as Commodities? 83 Terre des Hommes
  • 84. be the case. Children trafficked to Gabon from West that family reunification is the best option. African countries such as Bénin, Togo and Nigeria have been given different options, depending on their While respect for privacy and the importance of avoiding nationality. A Gabon-based NGO composed mainly children being stigmatised usually make it better to avoid of West Africans living in Libreville acted on the publicising the return of trafficking victims, government assumption that children from Bénin and Togo should officials sometimes organise publicity without much automatically be helped to return to their country of thought to the consequences. In a few cases, government origin. This assumption was shared by the consuls officials or NGOs calculate that publicity is justified be- representing their two countries. However, the consul cause it will have a useful deterrent effect. At the begin- of Nigeria, in contrast, had a policy of consulting young ning of December 2003, 160 of the 190 children repatri- Nigerians who had escaped from exploitation in Gabon, ated from Nigeria to Bénin several months earlier were and evidently felt that teenagers could make an informed returned to their parents in Zakpota (northeast Bénin) in choice about their future; a significant number opted to an official ceremony at which the Minister for the Family remain in Gabon. The difference here may have been that and Social Protection presided. The arrival home of such a most of the Nigerian children were boys, whereas those large number of children was not going to pass unnoticed, from Bénin and Togo were mostly girls. Of course, such and by participating personally, the Minister conveyed a decisions are only an option if the authorities of the host message to local leaders that they should do more in country do not insist on repatriation. Elsewhere in West future to avoid letting young children go abroad to work. Africa, there have been similar experiences, with only 6 per cent of children brought to Côte d’Ivoire from Protecting children who are at risk of being Ghana and Togo to work as domestic servants who then trafficked again received assistance from an NGO opting to return to their country of origin in one 12-month period. A child trafficking victim’s need for support does not come to an end just because the child concerned has Family reunification returned home or found somewhere to live independ- ently. Ensuring that young people are not re-trafficked is Just as it is not automatically in children’s best interests to important as a form of both prevention and protection. return to their country of origin, so it may not be in their Once again this can be achieved most easily by involv- best interests to return to their own community or family ing social workers who can monitor an individual child’s home. (and household’s) situation and assess what support, or what other measures, are needed, along the lines of those Issues concerning family reunification for already mentioned in Chapter 14. However, as this is of- children trafficked when very young ten impossible to arrange, the important principle is that NGOs should follow up individual cases and check up on Repatriation and family reunification are intended to be what has happened to the child they have visited, even if remedies for children who have suffered serious human they do not have the resources to provide further training rights abuse, restoring them to the situation before their or material support. rights were violated. However, for children who have little or no recollection of where they came from, this In West Africa, investigators found early on that an process may subject them to even more trauma and astonishingly high number of children who were therefore be undesirable. Consequently NGOs generally accompanied back to their villages by NGOs or others, concentrate on stopping the trafficking of children for with the best of intentions, had left again within only days adoption from occurring in the first place. or weeks. This could be put down to the attitude of the child’s parents (wanting him or her to earn money else- Preparing the family and home community where) but suggests strongly that the ‘solution’ was neither durable nor reached with the informed consent of the It is desirable that a social worker employed by either a children concerned and their communities. Even if return- government agency or an NGO should investigate the ing children do settle down at home again, it is question- specific circumstances of each trafficked child’s family to able how long they should be expected to stay there. In make a risk assessment and advise whether family reuni- Albania, if a returning child stays at home for 12 months, fication is the right option. In the countless parts of the this is regarded as an indicator of success by Terre des world where there are no social workers and where NGOs Hommes. However, this is regarded as a crude indicator to do not have the resources to send someone to investigate demonstrate that the children concerned definitely have the specific situation of each household, evidence is some- not left for Greece again and generally concerns children times available that most trafficked children returning to of school age who are expected to continue attending a particular village or district are ‘re-trafficked’, that is to school; it would not be an appropriate indicator for say, are sent away within a short time to be exploited once children who have left school. again. This should make NGOs wary, at least, of assuming Kids as Commodities? 84 Terre des Hommes
  • 85. When the 23 children living in the Oasis centre left in September 2001, Terre des Hommes developed a ‘solemn undertaking’ (Engagement sur l’honneur) to be signed by both the parent or other adult taking charge of a child and a local official, such as a village head or mayor. In signing this, they agreed not to send the child away to work before he or she reached the age of 14. A total of 14 out of the 15 parents to whom children were returned signed the undertaking. In addition to accompanying each child to the place where he or she was going to live, Terre des Hommes also arranged to visit each child on four more occasions. Alternatives to family reunification There are so many circumstances in which young people either do not want to return to their home community, or it is not in their best interests, that NGOs routinely have to abandon the conventional model of returning children to their own families and look for other solutions instead. Of course, this creates a challenge for NGOs in terms of their own ‘exit strategy’. At what point do they decide that a child who has not returned home has reintegrated sufficiently successfully to require no further assistance or monitoring? And that the NGO is under no obligation to respond positively to further requests for material assist- ance when there are hiccoughs in a child’s reintegration? Once again, the answer lies in setting clear objectives at the outset, and distinguishing between an NGO’s role in enabling someone to recover from trafficking and meeting someone’s material needs over the long-term. The indicator of success in all these cases is that a child should not end up back in the clutches of traffickers Kids as Commodities? 85 Terre des Hommes
  • 86. Chapter 18 Conclusions and Recommendations T his study is far from complete. It simply reflects work in progress. Throughout the world governments are in the process of changing their legislation on human traf- As far as co-operation between different governments, and between governments and inter-governmental organisations, is concerned, a high level mechanism of ficking and reassessing what patterns of abuse they intend this sort should be given a mandate to find out what to stop with legislation prohibiting trafficking. So far, the factors are impeding cooperation and progress in action signs are not encouraging that governments are commit- against trafficking and to recommend any changes ted to respecting the human rights of children (or adults) necessary. who have been trafficked. Similarly, organisations of many different types are adjusting their work and trying to work Recommendation 2 out which target groups of children and adults they should be focusing on and what it is most appropriate to do on The Guidelines for Protection of the Rights of Children Victims their behalf. of Trafficking prepared by UNICEF in relation to South- east Europe should be reissued as global guidelines, and The progress being made at the moment is not nearly fast both these Guidelines and the Recommended Principles and enough for more than a million children who, today, are Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking issued by suffering abuse after being trafficked. the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2002 should be endorsed by the UN Commission on Human Many of the observations about the advantages and dis- Rights or General Assembly, with a view to being imple- advantages of different initiatives described in the study mented by governments without delay. are still tentative and require further discussion by NGOs and other counter-trafficking specialists. However, it is Recommendation 3 fairly easy to conclude that some policies implemented in the name of counter-trafficking are counter-productive A UN agency which has substantial expertise on the for the people they are supposed to help and should be issue of child trafficking, such as UNICEF or ILO-IPEC, stopped. It is also reasonable already to make a number should be asked to promote respect of child rights and of recommendations, addressed to the international com- good practice in the techniques used in preventing child munity for inter-governmental organisations to adopt, to trafficking and protecting trafficked children. This would governments for action in their countries, to organisations mean identifying criteria for assessing whether particular which provide funding for counter-trafficking activities practices constitute ‘good’ or ‘bad’ practice. Evidently an (whether they are governmental or private) and to NGOs. agency preoccupied with law enforcement or immigration would adopt very different criteria to an agency concerned TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY with child rights. Consequently it is essential that ‘good’ or ‘bad’ practice be assessed in terms of the impact on Many different organisations within the UN system have the human rights of the children concerned: most UN programmes against human trafficking and are working to agencies are now required to do this under the terms of stop child trafficking. However, the lack of coordination the ‘Statement of Common Understanding’ on a ‘Human between them (and between them and other international Rights Based Approach’ developed at a UN Inter-Agency and inter-governmental organisations) is hampering their Workshop in May 200385. effectiveness. The UN agency concerned should facilitate the process Recommendation 1 of assessing what constitutes good practice and enabling practitioners to exchange information on techniques and The UN should introduce more effective coordination thereby learn from one another. Part of promoting good into its counter-trafficking programmes and operations. practice should entail efforts to persuade all the different The appointment of a high level mechanism or inter-governmental organisations and government depart- coordinator in the office of the UN Secretary-General on ments engaged in counter-trafficking efforts to start using human trafficking would enable the UN’s multifaceted the same yardsticks for assessing which cases constitute work on trafficking to be coordinated properly. In the trafficking and for presenting statistics of trafficking cases. cases of counter-trafficking work by inter-governmental This would reduce the confusion which is occurring at the organisations, this mechanism should be empowered to moment because of divergent definitions and techniques recommend any initiatives required to ensure that for estimating the number of both victims and of children inter-governmental organisations work together more at risk of being trafficked. effectively.84 Kids as Commodities? 86 Terre des Hommes
  • 87. TO GOVERNMENTS children who have been trafficked; • the routine deportation of children who may have been Recommendation 4 trafficked, following either summary or administrative Governments which have not yet done so should ratify procedures. key new international treaties against trafficking, such as the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Recommendation 8 Persons, Especially Women and Children, and implement the In order to stop the exploitation of children which is provisions of international treaties that they have ratified associated with trafficking, governments should intensify but are not implementing fully (such as the general their action against all the types of exploitation of children provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child occurring under their jurisdiction, that is to say, those mentioned in Chapter 7). specifically outlawed by the UN Trafficking Protocol and also those targeted in the ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Recommendation 5 Labour Convention. When introducing amendments to bring the law in line with the UN Trafficking Protocol, Governments should Special priority should be given to stopping trafficked take special care to ensure that the offence of trafficking a children from being subjected to torture or to other forms child is defined in an appropriate way. This means taking of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, into account that the levels of coercion required to control notably by enforcing bans on the use of corporal punish- children (and keep them in exploitation) are less severe ment against all children (if such bans already exist) and and less noticeable than those used to control adults. (if they do not) introducing legislation to prohibit adults Consequently, any new law on human trafficking or child for using violence or inflicting physical harm on children. trafficking should make it clear that the same abusive means of control which have to be proved in cases of TO DONORS FINANCING COUNTER- adults do not have to be proved in the case of children in TRAFFICKING WORK general (particularly in the cases of young children). Recommendation 9 Governments should also check that traffickers are not Government departments and other organisations which escaping with impunity because the law prohibiting child donate funds to organisations involved in counter- trafficking is too complicated to enforce, or the penalties trafficking work (whether the recipients are inter- for child trafficking are so harsh that it is difficult to governmental organisations or NGOs) should make persuade courts to convict child traffickers. funds available on a systematic basis for the evaluation of both prevention and protection activities, in order to Recommendation 6 identify initiatives which are effective and which Every government should conduct a review to assess how constitute good practice. its current procedures and practices compare to those recommended in the guidelines issued by UNICEF and TO NGOs the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A review panel which includes representatives of both statutory The remaining recommendations are addressed to NGOs agencies and NGOs with experience of assisting trafficked and cover five different areas of their work: investigations, children should be asked in every country to recommend publicity, prevention, evaluation and cooperation with specific measures to bring national practice into line with others. these international guidelines. Recommendation 10 As the gap between government policy and practice, (Investigating child trafficking) on the one hand, and these guidelines, on the other, is In addition to ensuring that they brief their own staff so great, the recommendations here do not attempt to about the risks that trafficked children are exposed to if mention all the specific measures which UN guidelines they are contacted by investigators asking questions about indicate governments should be taking with respect to trafficking, NGOs should ensure that journalists and children who may have been trafficked. anyone else they contact to alert them to trafficking cases are aware of these risks and advised to take appropriate Recommendation 7 precautions (such as those suggested in the WHO Governments should avoid any of the policy responses Guidelines) if they seek to talk to trafficked children. identified in Chapter 10 as counter-productive for traf- ficked children, that is to say: Recommendation 11 • blanket responses to deal with human trafficking which (Publicity) result in violations of human rights of the very people Organisations which publicise cases of trafficked children they are supposed to protect; should do as much as possible to protect the dignity of • laws or practices which have the effect of criminalising the children involved and ensure that their staff are aware Kids as Commodities? 87 Terre des Hommes
  • 88. of the possibility that both publicity and other initiatives iii. and a discussion about the age at which it is could be counter-productive. Whenever they decide to generally reasonable for children to migrate. reveal a trafficked child’s face (or other identifiable This would require child rights advocates to features) or identity in publicity materials, they should review whether the criteria they advocate as keep a formal record of the criteria taken into account, a basis for determining whether it is reasonable so these can be checked if anything goes wrong for individual children or groups of children to subsequently. migrate are too complex or nuanced to be the base of government policy and, if so, what Recommendation 12 could be done to give a clearer message without (Prevention) compromising on the need to ensure that the Efforts to prevent the exploitation of trafficked children best interests of the child remain the should include initiatives to influence members of the primary consideration. public who are ‘consumers’ of services provided by traf- ficked children or of products made by them, including sexual services in the case of children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. Recommendation 13 (Evaluations) Both NGOs and other organisations involved in counter- trafficking work should ensure their work on child traf- ficking is subjected to regular evaluation to enable them to learn, both as individual organisations and collectively with others, what initiatives prove most effective and most appropriate. NGOs should pay particular attention to seeking the views of the children who have been the targets of their initiatives, notably once the children have had enough time to develop some perspective on the initiatives taken on their behalf and can give comments on these. Recommendation 14 (Cooperation with others) Whether they are campaigning against child trafficking or taking practical action to protect trafficked children, NGOs should ensure that they cooperate with other organisations whenever this is in the best interests of children, both in their own countries and abroad. They should take steps to ensure that their own work does not have (possibly unintended) counter-productive side-effects for other organisations carrying out effective work against child trafficking. They should avoid compet- ing with other child rights organisations for media cover- age whenever this could be to the detriment of children who have been trafficked. International NGOs involved in work to stop child trafficking should develop opportu- nities to exchange information with others. In addition to exchanging information on good practice, questions for consideration in the near future include: i methods for enabling trafficked children to participate in the formulation of counter-trafficking techniques; ii. methods for monitoring the unintended side-effects of counter-trafficking initiatives (which are harmful to children); Kids as Commodities? 88 Terre des Hommes
  • 89. Endnotes 1. Notably in Panudda Boonpala and June Kane, Unbearable to the Human Heart – Child Trafficking and Action to Eliminate It. ILO-IPEC, 2002. 2. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (2000). 3. Mainly from USAID. 4. Terre des Hommes means ‘a World for People’ in French. Antoine de St Exupery, a French author, is reported to have uttered this phrase when flying over a desert; it became the title of one of his works. 5. Their headquarters are in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland (where there are two organisations, Terre des Hommes Switzerland and the Terre des Hommes Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland) and Syria. The network works in partnership with Terre des Hommes organisations in Spain and the Netherlands. Altogether Terre des Hommes member organisations support 840 development and humanitarian aid projects in 71 countries. 6. Chapter 8 includes the definition of child trafficking in international law. 7. Generally 14 or 15 in developing countries and 15 or 16 in industrialised countries, but some countries have not stipulated a particular age. 8. To “physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development” in the words of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 27); see Chapter 7. 9. Such cases are generally referred to as ‘false adoptions’. 10. The term ‘paedophile’ is used here to refer to adults or adolescents who experience sexual arousal towards a child that has not yet reached puberty, rather than towards an adolescent. 11. Nevertheless, most organisations combating child trafficking in French- and Spanish-speaking countries continue to refer to it by the terms ‘trafic’ in French and ‘trafico’ in Spanish, rather than accepting the UN Protocols’ distinction and using the terms ‘traite’ and ‘trata’. 12. The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers campaigns against this : 13. ILO, A Future without Child Labour, 2002, p. 18. In a leaflet issued on 12 June 2003 to mark World Day Against Child Labour, ILO-IPEC modified this estimate to suggest that 1.2 million children were being trafficked every year. 14. ILO, A Future without Child Labour, 2002. Kids as Commodities? 89 Terre des Hommes
  • 90. 15. Asia ACTS, Asia’s Children in Peril – A regional study on Child Trafficking, 2002. 16. Video by the Taiwan Women’s Rescue Foundation, The selling of Chen Chen: the Trade in native Taiwanese Children, 1991, quoted in Anti-Slavery International, Enslaved Peoples in the 1990s, Copenhagen, 1997. Prostitution was legal for women above the age of 21, but indigenous non-Han Chinese parents were reported to send much younger girls to work in brothels in return for payments made to them in advance. 17. Report on the mission to Guatemala. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, Ms Ofelia Calcetas-Santos. UN Doc. E/CN.4/ 2000/73/Add.2, 27 January 2000. 18. Ibid. Paragraph 29. 19. Ibid. Paragraph 102. 20. Albania in 1992, Georgia in 1997 and Romania in 1991 (after the departure of more that 10,000 children in the space of 18 months - see UNICEF, Intercountry Adoption, 1998) and again in 2001, following protests by the European Parliament’s Rapporteur on Romania that the way intercountry adoptions were being organised was resulting in serious abuses of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 21. In 2000 319 unaccompanied minors from Romania were brought to court in the Paris area alone (16.5 per cent of the juveniles appearing in court that year). Mineurs « isolés » d’Oas en France: Analyse de situation en vue d’une intervention de prévention. Terre des Hommes and la Voix de l’Enfant. 2003. 22. The Bellagio Task Force Report on Transplantation, Bodily Integrity, and the International Traffic in Or- gans, extract from Transplantation Proceedings, (1997; 29:2739-45) published by the Interna- tional Committee of the Red Cross on its web-site 23. Anne Kielland and Ibrahim Sanogo, Burkina Faso, Migration de la main d’oeuvre enfantine d’origine rurale – ampleur de facteurs déterminants, 2002. 24. Daniel Stoecklin and Vincent Tournecuillert, Child trafficking in South East Europe: the develop- ment of good practice to protect Albanian children,(forthcoming). 25. Alison Boak, Amy Boldosser and Ofronamu Biu, Smooth Flight: A Guide to Preventing Youth Trafficking, 2003. 26. Asia ACTS, Asia’s Children in Peril – A regional study on Child Trafficking, 2002. 27. Ibid. (concerning both Thailand and Vietnam). 28. Factores psicosociales e institucionales facilitadores del tráfico de niños en Cochabamba, Infante, in Del Abuso al Olvido, Tráfico de Niños y Niñas, Terre des Hommes Germany, 2001. 29. Terre des Hommes, The Trafficking of Albanian Children in Greece, 2003. 30. INCIDIN Bangladesh, Rapid Assessment on Trafficking in Children for Exploitative Employment in Bangladesh, 2002. Kids as Commodities? 90 Terre des Hommes
  • 91. 31. A recent report by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine goes into more detail on the harm caused by trafficking to adolescent girls and adult women in Europe: C Zimmerman et al, The health risks and consequences of trafficking in women and adolescents. Findings from a European study, 2003. 32. ECPAT-International, The Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Children who have been Commercially Sexually Exploited - A Training Guide, 2003. 33. The full text of the Convention is available from 34. The text of both the Convention and the Protocols can be found at 35. The Trafficking Protocol definition represents an evolution of the definition of ‘child servitude’ in the UN’s 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery which banned “Any institution or practice whereby a child or young person under the age of 18 years is delivered by either or both of his natural parents or by his guardian to another person, whether for reward or not, with a view to the exploitation of the child or young person or of his labour”. 36. Full text can be found at 37. G. Parra-Aranguren. Explanatory Report on The Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. 2003. 38. These can be obtained from the Office of the High Commissioner’s web-site 39. The Guidelines are available at 40. Which requires all the EU’s Member States to make offences identified in the UN Trafficking Protocol an offence in their domestic law, punishable by a minimum of eight years’ imprisonment, by August 2004. 41. The authorities of an EU country who are considering allowing a child who may have been trafficked to remain in their country temporarily will be required to take the best interests of the child into account under the terms of a draft Directive of the Council of the EU issued on 17 December 2003 (on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings …); Article 10 concerns minors. Ireland and the United Kingdom both opted not to implement this Directive. 42. Terre des Hommes, The Trafficking of Albanian Children in Greece, 2003, quoting information from Greece’s Directorate for Child Protection. 43. Kritaya Archavanitkul, Combating the Trafficking in Children and their Exploitation in Prostitution and Other Intolerable Forms of Child Labour in Mekong Basin Countries, 1998. 44. In Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam. 45. From 46. From the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ web-site Kids as Commodities? 91 Terre des Hommes
  • 92. 47. Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, on trafficking in women, women’s migration and violence against women, submitted in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/44, 29 February 2000, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2000/68. 48. Elaine Pearson, Human Traffic, Human Rights: Redefining Victim Protection, 2002. 49. Des Moines Register, 1 August 2003. 50. The Etireno was owned by a Nigerian sportsman playing for a German football team who claimed that he had no idea that his ship was being used for illegal activities. 51. Sarah Castle and Aïsse Diarra. The International Migration of Young Malians: Tradition, Necessity or Rite of Passage? 2003. 52. Ibid. 53. Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment, July 2003. 54. Save the Children [UK], Breaking Through the Clouds. A Participatory Action Research with Migrant Children and Youth in Cross-Border Areas of China, Myanmar and Thailand, 2001. 55. A M J Van Gaalen, Review of initiatives to combat child trafficking by members of the Save the Children Alliance, 2003. 56. La situation des mineurs non accompagnés en Suisse, Working Report for Fondation Terre des Hommes, Lausanne, September 2003. 57. Terre des Hommes, The Trafficking of Albanian Children in Greece, 2003. 58. Alain François Adihou, Le trafic des enfants entre le Bénin et le Gabon, 1999. 59. ILO-IPEC: Trafficking girls in Nepal with special reference to prostitution – A rapid assessment, Geneva, 2001, quoted in Panudda Boonpala and June Kane, Trafficking of Children: The Problem and Responses Worldwide, Geneva, 2001. 60. INCIDIN Bangladesh, Rapid Assessment on Trafficking in Children for Exploitative Employment in Bangladesh, 2002. 61. Terre des Hommes, The Trafficking of Albanian Children in Greece, 2003. 62. Anne Kielland and Ibrahim Sanogo, Burkina Faso, Migration de la main d’oeuvre enfantine d’origine rurale – ampleur de facteurs déterminants, 2002. 63. WOREC, Cross Border Trafficking of Boys, 2002. 64. From the ICMC web-site 65. See Box in Chapter 3 for a case reported in October 2003. NGOs channelled information to the ILO via trade unions as they are not entitled by the ILO’s procedures to submit the information directly to the ILO body monitoring whether ILO conventions are being respected. Kids as Commodities? 92 Terre des Hommes
  • 93. 66. In reports compiled by Uwe Pollman: Handel mit Kindern in die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Ergebnisse einer Recherche, Terre des Hommes, February 2001, and Country Report - Germany in Trafficking in Unaccompanied Minors for Sexual Exploitation in the European Union, IOM, May 2001. 67. ‘Girls of the Night. Prostitution involving Girl-Slaves in Brazil’. 68. ‘They are so nice, Sir. Traffickers in women in Belgium and Europe’. 69. Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 17 at its 35th session, 1989. 70. ILO-IPEC, Action against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children. Going where the children are … [An Evaluation of ILO-IPEC Programmes Thailand, Philippines, Colombia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua], 2001. 71. Maggie Black, Child domestic workers: A Handbook on Advocacy, 2002. 72. Information about Greece’s Law 3064 of 15 October 2002 from a lawyer in Thessalonica. 73. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Guidelines note that “While the additional elements that distinguish trafficking from migrant smuggling may sometimes be obvious, in many cases they are difficult to prove without active investigation. A failure to identify a trafficked person correctly is likely to result in a further denial of that person’s rights. States are therefore under an obligation to ensure that such identification can and does take place” (Guideline 2). 74. Carron Somerset, What the Professionals know: The trafficking of children into, and through, the UK (United Kingdom) for sexual purposes, 2001. 75. The UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949). 76. In addition to the Guidelines issued by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNICEF on how trafficked children should be treated, other organisations have issued guides on how any unaccompanied children should be treated, which are relevant to traf- ficking cases. See, for example, Celia Petty, Mary Tamplin and Sarah Uppard, Working with Separated Children: Field guide, training manual and training exercises, 1999. 77. On the basis that “There is no public health justification for such compulsory HIV testing. Respect for the right to physical integrity requires that testing be voluntary and based on informed consent.”, Section C, point 9 in Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, Annex 1 to UN document E/CN.4/1997/37 of 20 January 1997 78. INCIDIN Bangladesh, Rapid Assessment on Trafficking in Children for Exploitative Employment in Bangladesh, 2002. 79. Concluding remarks of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Bangladesh. UN document CRC/C/15/Add.221. Committee on the Rights of the Child, 34th session, October 2003. 80. Available at 81. SACCS web-site, Kids as Commodities? 93 Terre des Hommes
  • 94. 82. ECPAT-International, The Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Children who have been Commercially Sexually Exploited - A Training Guide, 2003. Available on 83. Terre des Hommes, The Trafficking of Albanian Children in Greece, 2003. 84. At the time of going to press the UN has decided to appoint a new Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children. 85 Quoted in UNICEF, State of the World’s Children 2004, 2003. Kids as Commodities? 94 Terre des Hommes
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  • 98. Unpublished reports prepared by Terre des Hommes La situation des mineurs non accompagnés en Suisse. Working Report for Terre des Hommes Foundation. Lausanne, September 2003. Mineurs « isolés » d’Oas en France : Analyse de situation en vue d’une intervention de prévention. Terre des Hommes and la Voix de l’enfant. 2003. Prostitution, Sexual Abuse and Child Labour in Mozambique. João Gabriel de Barros and Gulamo Taju. Republic of Mozambique Terre des Hommes. Maputo, April 1999. Research Report on Children in Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Labour and Crime in Zambia. MAPODE (Movement of Community Action for the Prevention and Protection of Young People Against Poverty, Destitution, Diseases and Exploitation). Funded by Terre des Hommes Germany. Carried out May-June 2002. Lusaka, no date. The Phenomenon of Child Trafficking in Zimbabwe. A Desk Study Analysis. Report Prepared for Terre des Hommes Germany as part of the Zimbabwe Research Project on Child Trafficking. Connect (Zist) Research Section. Harare, February 2002. Kids as Commodities? 98 Terre des Hommes